American Illustration is a highly respected international competition and for their 25th anniversary the organization commissioned 25 illustrators to do a painting about a particular year. My assignment was the year 1998. For a major soccer fan like me, this immediately brought to mind the World Cup final, where France defeated Brazil 3-0, thanks in large part to the two first-half goals by the great Zinedine Zidane. I wanted to portray more than this moment however, in summing up some events from 1998. All of the fans that are visible outside of the goal made news that year. The fans across the top of the goal are the significant people who passed away that year, beginning with Frank Sinatra on the far right. To his left are entertainers Sonny Bono, Flip Wilson and Henny Youngman, followed by politicians Barry Goldwater and George Wallace. The other two notable deaths were to cowboy singers Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Next, David Remnick is passed the buck as the new editor of the New Yorker magazine by former editor Tina Brown. Special prosecutor Ken Starr has his binoculars aimed towards President Bill Clinton, below, enjoying the action alongside Monica Lewinsky. 1998 was also a record-setting year for home runs in baseball, between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. The Unabomber Ted Kaczynski says his particular brand of a greeting, while below him the presidents of the two World Cup teams, Brazil and France, cheer. Finally, screen star Leonardo DiCaprio is the little figure in the first row.
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