About the Artist
Adam Kluger is a New York City born mixed media artist, photographer, painter, performance artist, playwright, filmmaker and writer. He is a direct descendant of famed British sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein and a past art student of renowned artist, Ion Theodore. Kluger attended the same high school as Jack Kerouac, and spent some time studying the great artists throughout Europe before settling back in New York. He draws his inspiration from diverse sources including Jean Dubuffet, Marc Chagall, Bernard Pfriem, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Bob Ross, Eric Payson and Pablo Picasso. “Whether I apply chromatic composition, an eclectic palette or color desaturation with my mixed media methods, makes less of a difference, than if the art object resonates with the viewer. It’s totally hit or miss and that’s what makes it so exciting to me,” says Kluger. “I adapt my painting style to the subject matter."
Interview with Mixed Media Artist Adam Kluger --August 2016
Q: You have been spending a lot of time working on political illustrations lately. Any reason?
A: As artists, writers, creators--we don't live in a vacuum. My best friend just returned from a visit to Amsterdam where he visited the Van Gogh Museum. There's a brilliant artist--unrecognized throughout most of his career-- who lived in his own world, in his mind if you will- and allowed his talent to create a new way to look at flowers and portraits and brushstrokes. I can't wait to see the new Van Gogh film, by the way--the one that is a moving painting. I am sure it will be overwhelming. Chagall, Picasso and I speak of Guernica, of course, reveal the power of art to expose the horror of war. It is always there with us. The history of humanity unfortunately is the history of war. Politics is our best way as a free society to have a stake in the process by which we attempt to improve our lot, society's ills and the world's many problems. So yeah, I do feel compelled to use my art to speak about what is currently going on around us. The stakes are kind of high.
Q: So you feel that Political Cartoons and illustrations can serve a greater purpose?
A: Well first off, I love Charlie Brown and Dilbert like most everybody else-- so yeah, I do think that humor is a great way to deal with all sorts of problems. Laughing is one of the great joys of life. Also, nothing is more powerful than the truth. Truth and humor go hand in hand. At the core of most political humor and political illustrations--you'll find some sort of truth.
Q: You seem to represent Donald Trump in a very negative light in your artwork.
A: Certainly that could be one interpretation. There have been a couple of moments during the current campaign where his true character has been revealed. I try not to pick sides politically--when it comes to creating art--I start all paintings with an open mind. I only to try to find the truth and have the art evoke some sort of visceral response in the viewer. That's the main goal. I'm not really a political cartoonist. I'm basically just an artist painting sketches of actors on a stage during a crucial time in our country's history.
Q: The Images of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Balloons at the DNC are very colorful and playful.
A: That was certainly the intention. I've seen balloons make amazing subjects in films and in paintings. I'm quite happy to have captured a couple different versions of this playful moment in what has been a very scary time in American politics.
Q: Ted Cruz Looks a bit like Frankenstein
A: That's funny, because in real life he looks kind of like Grandpa Munster (Actor Al Lewis), who once ran for public office in New York City. I know that because I actually voted for him--maybe it was a little irresponsible of me but I am sure there was a good reason behind my choice at the time.
Q: Is there a political Cartoonist out there that you admire or try to emulate?
A: Not intentionally, some folks have been kind enough to compare my recent political sketches, in spirit, to the great illustrator Ralph Steadman, who did all those marvelous, tripped-out illustrations for Hunter S. Thompson. I mean you couldn't get a bigger compliment than that. I might actually meet with Ralph next month in New York when he speaks at the Society of Illustrators--and tell him how great he is in person. I've also met New York sports Cartoonist Legend Bill Gallo--when I was on assignment as a journalist-I mean talk about a class act. Old School.