I was reading the LA Times the other day and came across this article on Buffalo artist, Michael Morgulis. It seems that no matter which city I am in, I am always reminded of Buffalo. Morgulis’s work is so iconic that most of us have seen a good number of his works before, whether we know it or not – on billboards, t-shirts, posters, ball caps – you name it and his designs have graced it.
While plenty of national media outlets have taken comedic jabs at Buffalo (I grew up listening to Carson jokes about Buffalo long before I ever considered investing there!), I was happy to see that the LA Times article mentions that “Only recently has the city, population now about 260,000, enjoyed a renaissance of rebuilding and growth.”
You have to dig deep to find that one positive mention about Buffalo’s recent renaissance in this article. I do like, however, how the writer ties California (my home state) into Buffalo. After graduating with a Master’s Degree from Buffalo State, Morgulis relocated to San Francisco, California where he studied psychedelic poster art – selling Grateful Dead T-shirts in Golden Gate Park.
Johnny Carson (based in Burbank, CA) poked fun at Buffalo during the Blizzard of ’77 which is when Morgulis retaliated with the “City of No Illusions” work, while holed up in his studio during the storm. Of course the T-shirt was later seen being worn by Brad Pitt in a number of LA magazines, which drove sales of Morgulis’s T-shirts through the roof.
It turns out the author of the article, John Glionna, stopped in to New Buffalo Graphics after being away from his hometown for over 20 years. One of the first things that popped into his mind was the memorable graphics that filled Morgulis’s store back in the day. He was extremely happy to see that while many things had changed in Buffalo, one thing (thankfully) remained the same.