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Laying Pipe
posted: September 13, 2013

I got a call from Chris Curry at The New Yorker to see if I'd do an illustration to accompany a piece by Ryan Lizza regarding the Keystone Pipeline and the challenges facing Obama as he makes decisions in the coming weeks. The article wasn't written yet but the outline described a long and complicated story of politics, environmentalists, and Big Oil.

For some reason I started thinking about those great Fortune Magazines of the 1930s and the depiction of big industry from posters and other magazines of that era. The article was going to state all sides of the argument over Keystone and I used the image of a small figure facing gigantic industrial forces. Sketch 2 was approved and the final went through without any alterations.

Sometimes with The New Yorker, a full-page illustration gets changed at the last minute to something smaller, so it's a relief to see the full-size printed piece with that distinctive New Yorker typography.
14 comments
GĂ©rard DuBois September 13, 2013
Really nice Paul. I think it would fit perfectly well too in the great magazines you mention.
Scott Wilson September 13, 2013
Great piece Paul. I love the strong graphic nature of your work and the colors are superb.
Tatsuro September 13, 2013
Wow, great image! very strong. I want to try industrial themes sometime too.
Nancy Stahl September 14, 2013
Simply beautiful.
Adam McCauley September 14, 2013
Really nice, Paul. This popped out in the magazine. I need to read the article.
David Flaherty September 14, 2013
That really popped out of the magazine Paul. I wondered if you we're tempted to sneak a squirrel in the pipe?
Katherine Streeter September 15, 2013
classic and bold! It looks perfect in the New Yorker!
Steve Brodner September 16, 2013
Strong image AND very important article about the evolution of Obama on this issue. Great all round. Congrats PR.
Alex Nabaum September 16, 2013
Whoa that's great!
Victor Juhasz September 16, 2013
Solid, strong image.
Tom Lichtenheld September 17, 2013
I love the reference to old Fortune covers, which were done at a time when big business was full of infallible promise. Artistically, the most interesting detail, to me, is the hard black diagonal in the opening of the pipe -- a lesser artist wouldn't have thought to use such hard contrast to define a round shape.
Matthew Hollister September 19, 2013
Gorgeous. Man oh man.
Paul Rogers September 19, 2013
Thanks for the kind words everyone, they mean a lot coming from artists I admire.
Jody Hewgill September 24, 2013
Classic! Striking image Paul, the Cassandre-esk treatment seems fitting for this article. Nicely done.
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