LENNY BRUCE 2023 fine art print / edition of 20 / $185.00

In Bob Fosse's hit 1974 film Lenny, Dustin Hoffman gave us Lenny Bruce as hip hustler turned tedious martyr. In The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Luke Kirby plays him as the title character's showbiz bestie. All down the decades since his 1966 death Bruce has remained a potent archetype, his name a signifier as all-purpose as Band-Aid or Kleenex. But for much of today's audience, the appeal of Bruce's actual work is as unfathomably remote as that of Chaplin or Will Rogers.

Just go to YouTube and check out footage or audio recordings of Lenny; the comments include a lot of "This sucks," or "He just ain't funny" countered by drab variations on "Yeah, but he was ahead of his time ... very influential." And sure, no Lenny Bruce, no SNL for instance, but don't hold that against him.

Perhaps a better way to understand the man's life, mind and art is to read his 1965 autobiography How To Talk Dirty and Influence People (even the title's jab at Dale Carnegie is opaque to many latter-day readers). Written at the peak of his notoriety as the nation's foremost "sick comic" and published at the brink of his fatal overdose, the book charts, with wit, candor and poignancy, how his picaresque early years led to both ultimate, unintended consequences. Read more...

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Only twenty (20) prints of LENNY BRUCE by Drew Friedman were produced for this edition. Each print is signed in the lower right, hand-titled in the center, and numbered in the lower left (all beneath the image). We have sold print numbers 1/20 thru 5/20, and are now offering print numbers 6/20 thru 8/20, unframed, for $185.00 each (plus s/h). Prices will increase for subsequent prints as the edition depletes.

The image area is approximately 19" high x 14-1/2" wide, centered on an untrimmed 22" x 17" sheet. Paper, ink, and production specifications, as well as shipping details, are available on our PRINT SPECS page.

Drew Friedman's portrait of Lenny Bruce is adapted from an uncredited photo that appeared on the cover of the 1984 (now out of print) book The (Almost) Unpublished Lenny Bruce, by Kitty Bruce.