Marcellus Hall, an NYC-based illustrator, has mounted a new show in the Sonoma Academy gallery. Hall's work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and Time, as well as in American Illustration, the Society of Illustrators, and Communication Arts annuals. His first cover for The New Yorker was published in 2005. He has self-published books of drawings and writings, including Hard Luck Stories and Legends of the Infinite City. His debut graphic novel, Kaleidoscope City, was published in 2018 by Bittersweet Editions; he has also illustrated a number of children's books, and he is an accomplished musician.
For 30 years, Hall has been capturing the everyday life of cities around the world. Hundreds of drawings and illustrations from his years in New York go hand-in-hand with countless travel sketches form a complete vision depicting the human drama. With pathos and comedy, Hall’s drawings give form to a universal urban experience.
Hall, on his work:
"The fine art world and its wheelings and dealings left me cold when I graduated from art school, so I opted instead for a career in illustration. The populist aspect appealed to me. Nonetheless, I continued, in the meantime, to make art on my own with no client in mind and for no commercial purpose.
"This art reflects my fascination with humanity and cities. There is something about chronicling human behavior and environments, for better or worse, for me that offers insight to the universal condition ... both tragic and comedic. I am a humanist. My art stands as a testament to this. I am fascinated by the day to day common experience of people around the world. New York, being an international conglomeration, is the perfect setting for what interests me.
"For me, in drawing, there is a meaning that is not able to be conveyed in words. Words fall short. Words are confused. Words confuse people. Words have double meanings. People say things and people don’t listen. People say things and listeners don’t understand. For me drawing is another language. My words are lines and color. People see my drawings and recognize something. We understand each other. We feel less alone with language and art."
Hall's work will be on view through the end of the year. You can learn more about him at his website, www.marcellushall.com.