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Steven Heller, Illustrator and Art Director: From Mobster Times to the New York Times

May 3 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

$7.00 – $15.00

Steven Guarnaccia engages prolific design writer and art director, Steven Heller, in conversation about his recent memoir, Growing Up Underground. The book traces Heller’s development as a budding cartoonist and illustrator, through his art direction of some of the counterculture’s most iconic magazines, and up until his arrival at the New York Times. There Heller established himself as an influential art director, offering some of the field’s best-known illustrators their first opportunities to be published.

$15 general/$10 members/$7 students

Steven Heller (pronounced Hell-ehr) is celebrating 25 years as co-founder and co-chair of the SVA MFA Design program. For 33 years he was an art director at the NYTimes OpEd page and Book Review. He is the author, co-author and/or editor of over 200 books on design and satire/illustration (three with Steven Guarnaccia) and involved as a writer on 150 others. He wrote for the New York Times OpEd, Week in Review, Book Review and Obituary desks.  A contributing editor to a dozen design and culture magazines, he writes The Daily Heller for Although he holds no graduate degrees from any reputable college, he is the recipient of two honorary Ph.Ds and is empowered to perform weddings by the Universal Light Church. Photograph by Nir Arieli.

Steven Guarnaccia is an illustrator and Professor Emeritus of the Parsons School of Design. He taught in the SVA MFA Design program and, like Mr. Hell-ehr, was Op-Ed art director of the New York Times. He likewise never finished college. His illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, Abitare and Rolling Stone and he has created murals for Disney and exhibition drawings for the MoMA. He is the author of books on popular culture and design including School Days, Black and White and a Stiff Drink and a Close Shave (as well as three with Mr. H).

He has designed watches for Swatch and greeting cards for MoMA, won awards from the AIGA, the Art Directors Club, and the Bologna Book Fair and his exhibition, Fatherland, has traveled internationally. His children’s books include The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale and Cinderella: A Fashionable Tale, both published by Corraini and Abrams. The Story of Pasta, published by Phaidon and the Museum of Nothing, published by Minerva, will come out in fall, 2023. Like many illustrators, he received his first illustration commission from Steven Heller. Photograph by Francesco Lagenese & Steven Guarnaccia.


May 3
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
$7.00 – $15.00
Event Category:


At the Society
128 East 63rd Street
New York, NY 10065 United States


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