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Bruce McCall, lauded by Steve Martin as "a comic hero of several generations," was a writer and artist known for his humor works and his iconic New Yorker covers (more than 80 to date!). He was also one of the original staffers at National Lampoon magazine, helping define its biting satires of modern consumerism and the absurdity of American advertising. He went on to write for the National Lampoon Radio Hour and, eventually, Saturday Night Live.
Much of his early magazine work is featured in the 1982 collection, Zany Afternoons, and All Meat Looks Like South America gathered his persistently voluminous output up to 2003. A lifelong devotee of everything automotive, The Last Dream 'o Rama (2001) showcases the artist's singular ambidexterity of technical exactness and ingenious fantasy with more than 100 pages of make-believe cars that "Detroit forgot to build."
McCall's many forays into uncanny design have been described as "Retro-Futurism," a concept the artist expanded upon in the 2008 TED-Talk, "What is Retro-Futurism." His career also encompasses a host of artist-writer collaborations with lifelong friends, including Adam Gopnik (The Steps Across the Water), Ian Fraser (The New Yorker), and David Letterman (This Land was Made for You and Me). McCall's archive of visual art includes hundreds of paintings, with a variety of subjects and materials that testify to his ranging fascinations with people, technologies, and ideas of the past, the future, and the reliably constant absurdity that comes up in between. An of his New York City-related works, Bruce McCall's New York, opened at the New-York Historical Society in April 2021.
Bruce McCall died on May 5th, 2023. David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, memorialized Bruce as "a brilliant writer, both a sharp and hilarious satirist and a wintry memoirist. He was a huge talent and such an important and protean presence in [The New Yorker's] pages.”
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