The Powerful, Challenging Illustrations of Eric Drooker

by Andy SmithPosted on

Whether on the cover of the New Yorker, inside graphic novels, or adorning street corners, the images of Eric Drooker can be seen across the world. The New York City native has garnered a reputation as a social critic, with illustrations that comment on topics like police brutality, censorship, and the deaths of icons like Prince.

Drooker moves between different approaches in his work, from using stark blacks to Impressionistic renderings. The illustrations in this piece include both watercolor works and inks on scratchboard.

Drooker’s “Flood! A Novel in Pictures” nabbed an American Book Award and was featured as a New York Times Editors’ Choice. His illustrations and animation art for the film “Howl,” based on the life of Allen Ginsberg and his titular poem. That art was also turned into a graphic novel, and the entire project led to DreamWorks Animation hiring the artist. Other books by Drooker include “Blood Song: A Silent Ballad,” “O Muse,” and “Slingshot,” a collection of postcards of images that have appeared on urban walls and tattooed on the bodies of people across the world.

Drooker’s work appears in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Library of Congress, and the Brooklyn Museum.

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