Gerry Gersten (born 1927, New York City) was a prolific, and renowned political caricaturist. He also done numerous record covers. Gerry, born in 1927, grew up in the Bronx. His Polish Jewish immigrant parents were skeptical of his desire to pursue art and instead wanted him to be an accountant. But, his talent, was just too great.
Gerry Gersten, a much acclaimed illustrator, known for his incredibly detailed and funny caricatures, was also one of my grandfather’s closest friends. They shared the same wry humor, persistent criticism and amazing taste for great art, illustration, typeface and the like.
“I remember once picking up a copy of Life magazine and saying to them, ‘A page in this magazine would cost an advertiser $50,000, of course you can make a living in this field,’‘he recalls. “But I couldn’t convince them. They wanted me to be an accountant.”
Gersten studied at the Cooper Union Art School, and Cooper School of Design, before establishing his career as a caricaturist. He drew hundreds of illustrations for publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Harpers, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper’s and Playboy. His work also adorned many record covers for RCA. On March 29, 1973 his work adorned the cover of Rolling Stone, with a lively depiction of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show.
In 1986, he began work for MAD Magazine, drawing political caricatures of public figures, for MAD’s brand of satire.
Through these notable assignments, Gersten gained international acclaim, and has collected awards from The Society of Illustrators, The Art Director’s Club, and The Society of Publication Designers. His work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, the Spectrum Gallery, the Daz-marcel Gallery in New York, various galleries in Connecticut, the Museum of American Illustration, and the Cornell Museum.