WHAT DO GARRY TRUDEAU, JOHN MELLENCAMP, AND CARRIE FISHER HAVE IN COMMON?

With “More is More,” George Corsillo chronicles his design career packaging celebrities large and small.

NEW HAVEN, July 5 – August 18, 2019: Kehler Liddell Gallery, in partnership with Westville Village Renaissance Alliance and ArtEcon Initiative, presents: More is More, by George Corsillo, with an Opening Reception on Saturday, July 13th, 3-6pm, and an Artist Talk at 5pm.

Over the last forty years, George Corsillo has produced some exciting, and often iconic art. You have seen his graphic design on album covers, posters, and tour merchandise for John Mellencamp and Luther Vandross; on book covers for Carrie Fisher’s memoir Postcards from the Edge, Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, and Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero; on numerous projects for Garry Trudeau and Doonesbury. Corsillo has also worked with Yoko Ono, the Eagles, and Pat Benatar. He did the album cover for the original soundtrack from the motion picture Grease. He designed the book cover for First Wives Club. From albums by Jefferson Starship and Dolly Parton to the packaging of New Haven’s newest hip brew-pub, Corsillo’s work is everywhere.

You’ve seen George’s work. Now you can see the best of his work in one place.

The new retrospective More is More not only guides visitors on Corsillo’s personal journey, but also provides a glimpse into the development of the graphic design styles of the 80s and 90s. In the early days, Corsillo assembled designs with mechanical paste-ups, cutting and pasting to create press-ready art. Today, as one might expect, his work is all computer-based. His early work, in the forefront of Postmodern and New Wave design, helped transform the graphic design field. Appropriating pop-art imagery and modernist collage techniques, and using an irreverent approach to type and a shocking color palette, the end product became a rock-and-roll/punk style with a twist.

“More than anyone else,” Garry Trudeau says, “[George] makes me look more talented than I am, for which I am usually privately grateful.” Now, that private gratitude will become public, for all of us.  

During the run of this exhibition, numerous concurrent programs are planned at the gallery, including a ticketed conversation series titled, The Art of Collaboration, featuring a conversation with Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau, and a panel discussion with Brian Walker (Hi and Lois and Beetle Bailey) and editor David Stanford. Programs include:

  • Opening Reception, sponsored by East Rock Brewing Company, Saturday, July 13, 3:00-6:00 p.m., and Artist Talk with George Corsillo at 5:00 p.m. Free and Open to All.

  • The Art of Collaboration: Conversation Series, Thursday evenings, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

  • Let’s Play! Free Story Hour for All Ages, with guest George Corsillo, Sunday, July 21, at 10:00 a.m.

  • Design the Album Cover of Your Life, free arts workshop for ages 11-14, led by teaching artist Ana Henriques with George Corsillo, Sunday, August 4, 1:00-4:00 p.m. Pre-registration is encouraged: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/design-the-album-cover-of-your-life-tickets-63387265016.

  • Dance Party! Save the date to strap on your dancing shoes, celebrate George and fundraise for the Westville Village Renaissance Alliance, Thursday, August 8, time TBD, tickets TBD

George Corsillo is the co-owner and art director of Design Monsters, a design studio in Westville Village, New Haven, CT. George studied Graphic Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn NY where he earned his BFA. His first job out of Pratt was at Warner Paperback Library. From there he moved to Paul Bacon Studio where he was exposed to all of the major New York publishing houses. He had been Paul’s assistant for three years when he moved to Los Angeles to work for Gribbitt! Design Studio. At Gribbitt! he worked with major record labels (RCA, Casablanca, Soul Train, Columbia, etc.) designing album packages such as Grease, The Original Movie Soundtrack. After moving back to the New York area, George started Design Monsters, designing book jackets and interiors –– Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis; Famous for 15 Minutes, a biography of Andy Warhol by Ultra Violet, Lonesome Dove, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Larry McMurtry (as well as the logo and title graphics for the TV mini-series.) Album package clients included: Jefferson Starship, Dolly Parton, Yoko Ono, Pat Benatar, and Bon Jovi. Luther Vandross and John Mellencamp were both musicians with whom he collaborated for many years, creating posters, tour merchandise, videos, etc. as well as designing over a dozen album covers for each of them. Since moving to New Haven, George has focused his career on posters, products, books and typography. Currently, he is the graphic designer for Garry Trudeau’s, Doonesbury – he colors the Sunday comic each week – designing his books and posters. He has also had the opportunity to design three exhibition books – War Games; History; and War, Myth, Desire – for internationally renowned photographer David Levinthal. www.designmonsters.com 

Garry Trudeau, social observer and American cartoonist, is best known for his creation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip Doonesbury, and has been drawing electoral commentary for nearly a half-century. Beginning upon his graduation from Yale University in 1970, Doonesbury is now syndicated to 1,000 daily and Sunday newspapers worldwide and is accessible online in association with The Washington Post. In 1975, Trudeau became the first comic strip artist to win a Pulitzer, traditionally awarded to editorial-page cartoonists. He was also a Pulitzer finalist in 1990, 2004, and 2005. Other awards include the National Cartoonist Society Newspaper Comic Strip Award in 1994, and the Reuben Award in 1995. In 1993, Trudeau was made a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Wiley Miller, fellow comic-strip artist responsible for Non Sequitur, called him "far and away the most influential editorial cartoonist in the last 25 years.” Trudeau has contributed to such publications as Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, The New Yorker, New York Times, and The Washington Post. In 2013, Trudeau created, wrote and co-produced Alpha House, a political sitcom starring John Goodman that revolves around four Republican U.S. Senators, who live together in a townhouse on Capitol Hill. While writing Alpha House, Trudeau put the daily Doonesbury into rerun mode. On March 3, 2014 the "Classic Doonesbury" series began, featuring approximately four weeks of daily strips from each year of the strip's run. He continues to produce new strips for Sundays.

Brian Walker has a diverse background in professional cartooning and cartoon scholarship. Since 1984, he has been part of the creative team that produces the comic strips Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois, both of which were created by his father Mort Walker. Brian was a founder and former director of the Museum of Cartoon Art, where he worked from 1974 to 1992. He has written, edited or contributed to over forty books on cartoon art, as well as numerous exhibition catalogs and magazine articles. His most well-known books, The Comics – Since 1945, and a companion volume, The Comics – Before 1945, were published by Abrams in 2002 and 2004 respectively. Brian Walker taught cartoon history at the School of Visual Arts from 1995 to 1996. He has served as the curator for seventy cartoon exhibitions, including three major retrospectives, The Sunday Funnies: 100 Years of Comics in American Life, at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Conn., 100 Years of American Comics at the Belgian Center for Comic Art in Brussels and Masters of American Comics at the Hammer Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. He was Editor-in-Chief of Collectors’ Showcase magazine from 1997 to 2000 and is currently the Chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society.

David Stanford is an independent editor working with nonfiction, fiction, humor and cartoons. He spent 20 years in New York trade book publishing, the second half as a senior editor at Viking Penguin, and 21 years on his own. He has worked with authors ranging from Ken Kesey, William S. Burroughs, and the Estate of Jack Kerouac to Don Dunphy, Stewart Brand, and Alice Notley to Charles Schulz, Art Spiegelman, and G.B. Trudeau. Over the past 40 years he has worked with Garry Trudeau on innumerable fascinating projects, and has served as Duty Officer of the Doonesbury Town Hall since its launch in 1995. He and his family live in rural New York.

Kehler Liddell Gallery (KLG) is a cooperative gallery in the heart of New Haven’s Westville village representing 25 of the area’s most notable emerging and established artists. Established in 2003, KLG is one of New Haven’s longest running retail galleries to date. All of the artists are juried into membership. Monthly exhibitions are highlighted by free community arts programming presented by ArtEcon Initiative. Gallery hours: Thursday–Friday, 11am-4pm; Saturday–Sunday, 10am-4pm. The gallery is free and open to the public. www.KehlerLiddellGallery.com.

Westville Village Renaissance Alliance (WVRA) is a New Haven, CT-based non-profit organization and a designated Connecticut Main Street organization. The mission is to partner with local businesses, property owners, residents and public and private institutions to foster and sustain economic revitalization, community engagement and cultural vitality in Westville Village and the surrounding neighborhoods, while emphasizing historic preservation and place-making. www.WestvilleCT.org

ArtEcon Initiative is a neighborhood-based non-profit and an outgrowth of ArLoW (Art Lofts West), New Haven’s only affordable artist housing. The primary mission of ArtEcon is to produce and support free, or low cost, arts and community programs for all ages in the Westville West-Rock neighborhood. Related programming during this exhibition is supported by ArtEcon, whose 2019 programming is made possible in part with support from the Pincus Family Foundation and Department of Economic and Community Development, CT Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. www.ArtEconInitiative.org.