the Bank of Zaltzman

If you are going along to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, do attend my brother‘s show at The Stand: it’s called Satirist for Hire, and whereas most Edinburgh shows are written and honed over the preceding year, he’ll be taking requests from the audience for topics they want to be satirized, and writing new material every day accordingly. He operates at his best close to a deadline, so it’ll definitely be worth seeing.

Anyway. As in previous years, Andy asked me to paint him for the show’s posters, and since I wasn’t very happy with how some of those turned out, I wanted to try something different. Lo:
AZ banknote

I had only intended to do his face in this style, but once I’d started, I couldn’t leave the rest of the note unfinished.

Inspiration:

inspiration

Look carefully at one of Her Majesty’s banknotes. There are layers upon layers of detail; it’s a truly beautiful security system. Lines and curlicues are formed out of tiny words. Patterns overlay patterns. The shading on the Queen’s face isn’t even straightforward cross-hatching – it’s rows of little brick shapes. I borrowed several of the design elements and deployed my limited drawing skills on A1-size paper (without a watermark of Andy’s face, sadly; that would have been a nice but completely unnecessary detail).

Weapons of choice:

ink

I love Windsor and Newton drawing inks without reservation. I drew the whole thing with that tiny dip pen, which was used by my grandfather or great-grandfather at school! I’m not usually a retronaut who gravitates towards needlessly old-fashioned tools – no cassette Walkmans for me, I spent enough of the early 90s rewinding tapes by spinning them on a pencil to save batteries and never intend to go back – but something about a dip pen suits me, possibly the scratchiness, possibly the minimalism of the implement that feels like you’re barely holding anything. I’m not so keen on its propensity for ink splotches. Hence the Tipp-Ex.

A few details:

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I hope I don’t go to prison for counterfeiting.

Whenever I draw Andy, I feel a bit like I’m drawing my own face after I’ve just woken up. If I’d gone to sleep wearing an orange clown wig.

Click on the image for a bigger version:

AZ Satirist For Hire Banknote

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5 Comments to “the Bank of Zaltzman”

  1. A creation of great beauty. Can’t make it to Edinburgh, sadly, so will have to wait for the Bugle to be back on the airwebs to sate my craving for first-rate topical satire/bullshit.

    • Hopefully they’ll be back in early September, John! And I believe Andy will be touring with Satirist for Hire this autumn, plus a run at the Soho Theatre, so maybe you’ll be able to catch him bullshitting live.

  2. Also, I think you should do a series of these. This really is amazing.

    • Thanks Nichole! I would like to do more; it was difficult but very fun. I think it’ll be a component of the poster, with graphics imparting the necessary information about the shows.

  3. Love this, suitable for framing and your brother must be thrilled. Only question: is it a bit difficult to see as a poster or attract attention from a distance?

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