Barry Blitt on illustrating the story of the year

Image of New Yorker cover
Image of New Yorker cover
Image of New Yorker cover
Image of New Yorker cover
Image of New Yorker cover
Photo of illustrator Barry Blitt

One of America’s foremost illustrators (and OCAD University alum), Barry Blitt is perhaps best known for his political New Yorker magazine covers. He’s illustrated over 80 covers along with doing work for The New York Times, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone. Barry has also illustrated a series of children’s books.

We caught up with Barry to ask him about illustrating Time’s person of the year, Donald Trump.

Bad Reception

Miss Congeniality


As someone who’s been living the US presidential election campaign pretty closely for the past year and a half, how do you feel now that it’s over?

You'd think I'd be happy it's finally over, but the result was so disappointing to me. It was sort of giddy fun during the early months, but as it wore on - in those last few weeks of the campaign -  it became harder and harder to filter out the ugliness of the whole thing.


Grand Illusion

Significant Others


Will you draw Donald Trump differently now that he’s been elected president?

I don't know - I haven't been able to bring myself to draw him since. Though I expect it's inevitable, unless I go into another line of work. Orthodonture or ditch-digging are suddenly looking tempting in comparison.


Anything But That


What’s your creative process? How do you come up with your New Yorker cover ideas?

I try and keep a sketchbook around all the time and scribble wry thoughts as they occur, with as little self-editing as possible. Then, I redraw the least objectionable ideas as quick sketches, and submit them to the magazine. If something gets chosen I begin the process of sucking all joy and life out of the drawing for the final art.


Illustrator Barry Blitt

Inline Image Template


heartquake nind
Friday, July 18, 2008 - 4:00am to Sunday, May 31, 2009 - 4:00am

OCAD Drawing & Painting Professor, Sarah Nind shows work in Heartquake, a group show curated by Raphie Etgar at the Musuem of the Seam in Jerusalum, Israel. Exhibition Heartquake is dedicated to exploring anxiety in its local and universal contexts. Heartquake seeks to expose and to accentuate people's emotional confrontation with their surroundings, and through the prism of anxiety to examine their responses as injured and as injurers, with the aim of understanding and influencing the dynamics of political and social relations.

Venue & Address: 
Museum of the Seam 4 Chel Handasa St, Jerusalem, Israel

Jota Castro & Minerva Cuevas: “Art as Activism/Activism as Art”

Pink logo with a white microphone
Black and white photograph of a man wearing glasses
Black and white photograph of a woman
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 10:00pm

Co-Presented by Latin American-Canadian Art Projects (LACAP) and the Office of the President, OCAD University

JOTA CASTRO was born in Yurimaguas, Peru and cur­rently lives in Brus­sels, Bel­gium. Jota Castro is a contemporary artist who explores themes of social and political conflict through the mediums of photography, sculpture, video and installation. He curated and par­tic­i­pated in the event col­lat­eral to the 55th Bien­nale of Venice 2013 Emer­gency Pavil­ion: Rebuild­ing Utopia, took part in the col­lat­eral event to the 54th Bien­nale of Venice I Miss My Ene­mies, curated by Oxana Maleeva, and the 53rd Bien­nale of Venice 2009, The Fear Soci­ety, Pabel­lón de la Urgen­cia. He also par­tic­i­pated in the Bien­nale of Tirana, Prague and Kwangju, Korea win­ning the award at the lat­ter in 2004. Castro’s most recent exhibitions include: Gemut­lichkeit, at Gal­le­ria Umberto di Marino (2013); Trame curated by Mas­simo Minini, Ste­fano Rai­mondi, Mauro Zanchi, in the Basil­ica di Santa Maria Mag­giore, Berg­amo; Tell me whom you haunt: Mar­cel Duchamp and the con­tem­po­rary ready­made curated by Mario Codog­nato, Blain Southern, Lon­don; solo exhibition Aus­ter­ity Über Alles at Galerie Bar­bara Thumm, Berlin; Una Sto­ria Con­tem­po­ranea, Gal­le­ria Mas­simo Minini, Bres­cia; I West End? Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem; among many others. In 2011, he curated Dublin Con­tem­po­rary Ter­ri­ble Beauty: Art, Cri­sis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance, along with Chris­t­ian Viveros-Fauné. Jota Castro is a political science graduate, former student of the College of Europe in Bruges who worked for the UN and the EU. He has devoted himself completely to contemporary art for the past 17 years.

MINERVA CUEVAS graduated with a BFA from the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Mexico City in 1997. Her socially engaged practice encompasses a range of strategies and media including film, installation, performance, and site-specific public intervention. One of Cuevas’s best-known works is the long-term project Better Life Corporation (Mejor Vida Corp., 1998– ), which evolved from her public interventions in Mexico City. Part pseudo-corporation, part non-profit organization, the project revolves around a website that offers a range of public services including the provision of special bar codes to reduce the cost of food items at supermarkets, personalized fake student ID cards, and free phone calls. Cuevas has had major solo exhibitions at the Vienna Secession (2002); DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2004); Casa del Lago, Mexico City (2006); Kunsthalle Basel (2007); Le Grand Café – Centre d’art Contemporain, Saint-Nazarie, France (2007); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2008); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (2010); Cornerhouse, Manchester (2011); and Museo de la Ciudad de México (2012). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (1998); Hayward Gallery, London (2000); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent (2001); MoMA PS1, New York (2002); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2010); and the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth (2013). Cuevas’s work was also included in the Istanbul Biennial (2003); São Paulo Biennial (2006); and Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2007). She received grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) in 2003 and the Fondo Nacional para cultura y las Artes in 1999. Her work is held in the collection of the Tate, UNAM, Mexico City and Van Abbé Museum, Eindhoven.

Moderated by Gerardo Mosquera.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University  100 McCaul St. Auditorium, Room 190