Anyone with a passing interest in current affairs, other people’s business and the tricky maze that is the US legal system will surely be fascinated by the work of Mary Chaney, a woman with access to some of the biggest US legal cases in the latter half of the 20th Century. Mary was the courtroom illustrator on high-profile Los Angeles court cases including OJ Simpson, the Night Stalker, Snoop Dogg and many more; but little is seen of her work. A new project in the form of The Paper Tiger Chase: L.A. Courtroom Art by Mary Chaney aims to change all that. The book is currently racking up funding on Kickstarter, and is art directed by Darren Wall. Featuring 50 images and descriptions of the cases, it offers an insight into the world of the courtroom artist, an often forgotten figure with a mind-blowing eye and memory for details and the nuances of immediate portraiture.
“The aim of this project is to preserve the work of a fading artistic profession: courtroom illustration. A skilled, select group of artists would attend trials and create quick, expressive sketches, capturing pivotal moments in pen and ink,”says Rachel Reilly, the Kickstarter project organiser.
“This book will serve as a living record not only of Mary’s iconic work, but of the human hand in a world of accelerated technological progress,”