A Cartoonist’s Background and Perspective

By Elliott Gilbert

Cartoon by Elliott Gilbert

I was born in Brooklyn, in 1924, the son of young immigrants from Poland. My mother, Regine Gilbert, was a painter, once described as “America’s most exuberant and imaginative Primitive.” She was compared to Grandma Moses, exhibited in many galleries, and encouraged my talent early on.

My early education included the Brooklyn Museum Art School, The High School of Music and Art (now the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts), and later, the Pratt Institute and the Art Students’ League. I’ve studied with Isaac Soyer, Gregorio Prestopino, and Rufino Tamayo. I’ve also spent many summers in Provence, France, painting its villages and landscapes. My awards include: the Patron Purchase Award from the Springfield Art Museum in Missouri, the Patron Purchase Award from Associated Artists of Winston-Salem in North Carolina, and an Honorable Mention from the Rhode Island Watercolor Society.

THE ARTIST’S CHALLENGE: Award-winning artist Elliott Gilbert’s artwork is always a balance of his vision and the art lover’s response. Painting by Elliott Gilbert.

A Personal View: The interplay of light and dark, as well as the subtleties and complexities of color, have always been part of the challenge for me. Making something significant from the mundane is another. There are no unique subjects. Landscapes, interiors, still-life works, and portraits have been scrutinized a thousand times over. In the end, whether it be an apple, or a panoramic view of a distant land, the artist’s interpretive sense prevails. This is the vision that the art lover will enjoy and judge. That has always been the ultimate challenge in the struggle to create art: balancing the artist’s vision and the art lover’s response.

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