For over 50 years, Mort Gerberg has been documenting life in New York City, the fight for women's rights, politics, the Miracle Mets, the minutiae of aging and everything in between in cartoons and illustrations which have appeared in the likes of the New Yorker and Saturday Evening Post. Starting this month, the New-York Historical Society is hosting a retrospective of Gerberg's work, including more than 120 published cartoons, drawings, and sketch reportage. And you can see a few of them up above right now without even getting out of your chair!
The exhibition opened last week and runs through May 15th. NYHS writes of Gerberg, "Known for combining artistry with intuitive wit, he chronicles and comments on contemporary events that become history." Which is quite an apt description: his cartoons from 30+ years ago often carry a contemporary thematic relevancy, and his more recent ones don't shy away from political or social commentary, including a lot of Trump-related material (much of which you can see on his Instagram).
The exhibit comes in conjunction with a new retrospective book, Mort Gerberg On the Scene: A 50-Year Cartoon Chronicle, published by Fantagraphics Underground. You can get more information about the exhibit and the book from the NYHS here. You can also listen to a long interview with him below.
Gerberg, 87, was born in Brooklyn, and currently lives in Manhattan with his wife (he's also lived in Fort Hamilton, Bensonhurst and Flatbush, among other parts of the city). He recently told amNY that he still finds inspiration all over town, especially while riding the subways.
In the video below, he compares being a cartoonist to be an oyster: "An oyster goes through the ocean, and every once in a while a piece of sand goes and gets underneath the shell of the oyster and irritates the oyster," he said. "And the oyster in reaction produces a pearl. And a cartoonist is a creature who goes through the world and life and everything else and every once in a while something annoys the person and irritates them. And in a response to this irritation, the cartoonist produces a cartoon, which is if you will, a pearl of wisdom."