Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wild Things are Happening

As Sotheby's points out in the lot description, the 1998 Bell Atlantic "Wild Things are Happening" advertising campaign was the first instance in which Maurice Sendak permitted his Wild Thing characters to be used in commercial advertising. Based on what I know of Mr. Sendak, I'm sure the reason for this is his strong belief in the campaign's messages. In the case of this drawing, the message is clearly internet safety. According to the listing, the title was, "Before you jump on-line, look to see who's holding the net." There is no net in the illustration, but a pun on the internet is there for the asking.

Mr. Sendak, of course, donates all of his original book illustrations to the Rosenbach Foundation in Philadelphia, but he sells his advertising artwork in the marketplace. Advertising campaigns such as this one have become the primary means for collectors to get their hands on Wild Things artwork.

Maurice Sendak, Wild Things are Happening

Note:  My last post on Maurice Sendak is here and it is a model of internet safety.


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