Felipe Galindo (aka Feggo) who reliably takes photos at cartoonist gatherings, sent in this wonderful photograph of the late Peter Porges. Felipe also added some thoughts on Mr. Porges and the late Stuart Leeds.
I first met him at one of those cartoonists lunches. He had a grouchy expression that all of a sudden transformed into a comical act, making funny noises, like a marching band, imitating instruments.
I recall that afterwards I went along Sid Harris and him to visit his studio at Union Square. He showed us stuff he was working on and his drawing technique with India ink and quill on large rag paper. Beautiful artistic renditions. He sometimes would lick the quill, his tongue and lips will be all black and Sid horrified, screamed: “Don’t do that, you’re going to get cancer!”. He said, “No way, I’ve been doing this for ages!” He did that 3 or 4 times. He would also tell me some words in Spanish. He was good pal of Sergio Aragones, my compatriot. I asked him where was he from, and told me he was born in Vienna. A comment that impacted me was: “When I was a kid I saw Hitler marching into Vienna in 1938! Later my family sent me away for protection.” He is the only person I’ve met that saw Hitler. Talk about 5 degrees of separation.
I was familiar with his work from Mad Magazine
but later I enjoyed his cartoons from The New Yorker;
he had several captionless gags, my cup of tea. But I liked in particular one about characters from a famous Velazquez painting: “Dauphin! Stop teasing La Infanta!”
Always a riot, in paper and in life.
Left: a Felipe Galindo sketch of Peter Porges at a cartoonist gathering in 1988
I met Stuart at The New Yorker offices in Times Square, probably in 2002 or 2003. He would sit quietly at the sofa in the lobby, reading books after showing his batch. In 2008 I began to teach at an after school program in the Bronx and I was surprised to see him there and he me. He was moonlighting teaching cartooning to 4th graders and I was just learning how to teach, how to do mini graphic novels to 3rd graders. We used to chat a bit before class and share teaching methods.
He showed up at a couple of my exhibitions. The late John Kane (they were neighbors in the Chelsea vicinity) once mentioned that he asked him to babysit Harry his parrot for a week, not at his apartment but at John’s place…and free range inside!
I think his his style was simple and his forte was in the ideas more than in a particular technical skill, but that simplicity – experimental at times- was just right to convey his wit. One favorite that comes to mind is his Greek Orders
, showing 3 columns (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian) and at the end the iconic coffee cup with the Greek motifs labeled “To Go”. His humor was very New York City oriented where he most probably felt at home. Stuart liked baseball and adored the former NY Giants before they moved to San Francisco. He would wear with pride a vintage Giants cap.
Robert Sikoryak’s next Carousel is coming up. This one includes the very same Felipe Galindo mentioned at the top of today’s Spill
. All the information here.