The New York Times Tribute to Maurice Sendak

15 May

ART SPIEGELMAN
So, Maurice: Wish you could’ve been here for the outpouring of deserved affection that coursed through the media when you split. If there’s anything to this posterity thing, you’re with us through your work as fully as Laurel and Hardy or your beloved Mozart … so why do I miss you so?
The author, most recently, of “MetaMaus.” A traveling retrospective of his work, “Co-Mix,” is at the Pompidou Center in Paris until May 21.

TOMI UNGERER
For Maurice: I visited Maurice last summer. It was joy and bliss under the pine trees. Cajoling the past and blasting the present — both roaring, eyes weepy, giving our emotions a free range of expressions. Maurice is now where the wild things are. Ursula Nordstrom, our editor, Edward Gorey, Shel Silverstein and many others are already there, now celebrating his arrival with a big-bang-binge among the restless natives. Feasting on taboos and dancing the mumbo-jumbo under the No No trees. His departure is an invitation! See you later perkolator!
A French-born artist whose books include “The Three Robbers.”

JON KLASSEN
Maurice Sendak’s books were always a bit scary, but the pictures were so controlled that you were kind of reassured. There’d be these really dense bushes with God-knows-what behind them and it was terrifying, but then there’d be a moon, all nicely framed in a hole in the scenery, as if it knew exactly where you were standing and had gotten into position for you, and it wasn’t as scary then.
A Los Angeles-based illustrator whose forthcoming book is “This Is Not My Hat.”

GEOFF McFETRIDGE
My first exposure to Maurice Sendak was as a child reading “Where the Wild Things Are.” From the first time I saw it I was floored. It was a book about something I loved; it was a book about drawing! For many years it was the high point to aim for when it came to things like hands, feet, claws, crosshatching and bloodshot eyeballs. There was one small thing that Maurice once said in an interview that left a big impression on me. He said that when he started illustrating books, he really could not draw. I am not sure if he was really hard on himself. I get the impression he was. There is something in his drawings that alludes to this angst. Something unsettling. Maurice did not settle for fantastic, he was aiming for something much higher, and deeper.
An artist with a show in London in September at Ivory & Black.

MARC ROSENTHAL
I have always loved Maurice Sendak’s pictures of children in Ruth Krauss’s book “A Hole Is to Dig.” The simple ink drawings are elegant and expressive and amazingly full of character. They helped me learn how to draw kids. Lately, I have learned these even more important things from him: It’s O.K. to break rules. It’s O.K. to be bad. Have the courage not to pull your punches.
An illustrator whose latest book, with his wife, Eileen Rosenthal, is “I’ll Save You Bobo.”

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