Chris Kasch.Illustration

Communications of the ACM Magazine / December 19th, 2009

I was contacted by the American Communications of the ACM Magazine to do a front cover image, I had never worked for them before and any cover mage is good news.
They were looking for a clean, modern and somewhat painterly feel to a portrait of Amir Pnueli. Pnueli had sadly passed away and was much loved by his fellow professionals and so the magazine cover and feature was effectively serving as an obituary.
Obviously the treatment of the image would have to be sympathetic and pay due respect to the man, the pressure to do so was also more keenly felt when I learned that some people at the magazine knew him well.
I had only a couple of images to work from and I came up with a composition I felt was suitable for a piece like this. The editors at the magazine had suggested a different crop but were happier with my idea when they saw it. Painting went very smoothly but I did give myself more time than I might normally have done in order to pay due respect and ensure everyone who knew him would be happy with what they saw.
Incidentally, the jacket actually took me longer than the rest of the illustration put together and whilst it seemed a good idea at the time, come the third day I was seriously regretting my decision. It looks good but I question my sanity sometimes!