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President Kennedy

Barry Fantoni (born 1940)


Signed and inscribed '(Rushton)' on reverse

Pen ink, bodycolour and collage

15 x 14 inches

Private Eye, 29 November 1963, Front Cover

'The Illustrators. The British Art of Illustration 1837-2015',
November 2015 - January 2016, no 566

"When JFK was murdered by collaborators including the Italian mafia, the CIA and FBI, (NOT Lee Harvey Oswald, who is clearly seen in a photo watching the event in the door of the book depository and doctored badly by Warren's men to look like someone else) in 1963, the shock to the world was enormous. The Eye went to press a few days after the killing and we had no idea what to put on the cover. We went to press on Sundays in the early 60's and the cover was usually discussed over lunch at Jimmy's Greek Restaurant (no stars for service, five stars for opening at all hours). Clearly a tasteless cover was out of the question, even if we could think of one. In the end we cobbled together what I now see as the best of a bad job. Time was also a factor as the printer in the suburbs (the only printer who dared print the Eye) needed to roll the presses by six the latest to meet his schedule. We ad to work fast once it was agreed what we would do. I drew the main bits and Willie Rushton did the head. Then we stuck it together and sent it off. Willie and I had also collaborated on a hoax painting the same year that was hung in the Summer Royal Academy show, under the name Stuart Harris. It (Nude Reclining) was hailed by the Sunday Times art critic as a masterpiece of the Pop Art genre. I agree." - Barry Fantoni

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