We got a tube in the mail a few days ago that had a little sticker on it. It was a round little guy holding a bat and wearing a baseball uniform with a giant Dodgers’ baseball in front of him. The style looked very familiar but we couldn’t quite pinpoint where we had seen it before. The wide head and sometimes jagged lines were the marks of a particular local artist that we were having a block in remembering. Opening the tube there was another clue: a note, written in a style that wasn’t too dissimilar from the Dodger kid. “Kyle — Congratulations on your LAIY birthday!” it read. “Sorry we can’t make the party – Best – Steven Weissman.” That’s when it clicked: it was a little (Birthday!) surprise from artist, illustrator, and graphic novelist Steven Weissman, a rad local who you may recall from his wonderful Barack Hussein Obama book.
What Steven sent in the mail was a long rectangular print called Zoo Chance. It’s a funny, adorable scene depicting a bunch of kids exploring a zoo, wandering from animal to animal, each of which are enclosed by little pink ridges, something that should cause stress since they are unchaperoned and—um—the animals are pretty dangerous. Then again, this is a fantasy zoo and that may be what they are chancing at this zoo. It’s very bright and cheery and is one of those “Well isn’t this just delightful?” kind of pieces. Like the Dodger boy and the note, the work feels very much like Steven.
One thing to note, that we had a feeling of but double checked online to clarify, is that this is a screenprint. Have you noticed how many colors there are? There are six. That’s a lot so major kudos on the perfect execution of these pieces. It looks flawless! It also comes from a run of one hundred prints, each of which are signed and numbered by Steven. Our is the 95th one!
It’s always great to get little surprises in the mail and this was one of the best we’ve gotten and we are super stoked to share. If you’re digging Zoo Chance, you can pick it up from his store here. It’s on sale for $20! That’s quite a steal considering the work here. Why not gift it to yourself?