Maurice Sendak, author and/or artist of close to 100 books such as Where the Wild Things Are, passed away today at age 83. Sendak won nearly every major award for children’s literature, and inspired artists and imaginations from all over the world. I remember going to into the school library as a child, and Where the Wild Things Are was always the “go-to” book; I believe they had multiple copies. I’m pretty sure this book was one of the main reasons why I feel in love with monsters. Sendak has been quoted saying “I am a professional rude, crude artist”, and while it has only been the past few years I have really begun to appreciate the art in many children’s books, the illustrations by Mr. Sendak always seemed so intense. Filled with so much detail, texture, and most importantly so very unique. A drawing from his book Outside Over There, shown last, clearly shows how talented an artist he was.
So to celebrate this prolific and inspirational author and artist, we have some links to some amazing interviews and art. Back in 2009 Gallery Nucleus hosted Terrible Yellow Eyes (here), a group show with work inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. Huffington Post has a great interview from 2004 with Bill Moyers (here) , in which Sendak talks about childhood memories and the inspiration behind his work. Finally for some laughs, if you haven’t seen it already, Stephen Colbert interviews Mr. Sendak (here) in preparation for his own children’s book. This is a must see, and shows how much of a character he was. Take a look at some illustrations below, such as a a drawing Sendak made in 1967 for Tolkein’s The Hobbit (shown first).
Finally, RIP Mr Sendak, and from artists, authors, grown-ups, children, and monsters everywhere “Please don’t go. We’ll eat you up. We love you so!”