Jack Kerouac Caricature


Jack Kerouac Caricature shown here age 34 in a photoshoot by Tom Palumbo in NYC 1956.

Jean-Louis Kerouac was an American novelist and poet of French-Canadian descent.

He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his method of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.

Jack Kerouac was born on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts to French Canadian parents. The Kerouac family was living there in 1926 when Jack’s older brother Gerard died of rheumatic fever, aged nine. This deeply affected four-year-old Jack, who would later say that Gerard followed him in life as a guardian angel. This is the Gerard of Kerouac’s novel “Visions of Gerard”. He had one other sibling, an older sister named Caroline.
Kerouac spoke French until he learned English at age six; he did not speak English confidently until his late teens. He was a serious child who was devoted to his mother, who played an important role in his life. She was a devout Catholic, who instilled this deep faith into both her sons. Kerouac would later say that his mother was the only woman he ever loved.

When his football career at Columbia University ended due to a broken leg, Kerouac dropped out of the university. He continued to live for a time in New York’s Upper West Side with his girlfriend and future first wife, Edie Parker. It was during this time that he met the Beat Generation people—now famous—with whom he would always be associated, and who as characters formed the basis of many of his novels, including Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, John Clellon Holmes, Herbert Huncke, Lucien Carr and William S. Burroughs.

While serving in the United States Merchant Marine, Kerouac wrote his first novel “The Sea Is My Brother”. Although written in 1942, the book was not published until 2011, some 42 years after Kerouac’s death and 70 years after it was written.
“The Town and the City” was published in 1950 under the name “John Kerouac” and, though it earned him a few respectable reviews, the book sold poorly.

For the next six years, Kerouac continued to write regularly. Building upon previous drafts tentatively titled “The Beat Generation” and “Gone on the Road,” Kerouac completed what is now known as “On the Road” in April 1951, while living in Manhattan with his second wife, Joan Haverty. The book was largely autobiographical and describes Kerouac’s road-trip adventures across the United States and Mexico with Neal Cassady in the late 40s and early 50s, as well as his relationships with other Beat writers and friends.
In 1957, after being rejected by several other publishers, “On the Road” was finally purchased by Viking Press, which demanded major revisions prior to publication. The book was a hit and Kerouac was hailed as a major American writer.
The success of “On the Road” brought Kerouac instant fame. His celebrity status brought publishers desiring unwanted manuscripts that were previously rejected before its publication.

All of his books are in print today, including “The Town and the City”, “On the Road”, “Doctor Sax”, “The Dharma Bums”, “Mexico City Blues”, “The Subterraneans”, “Desolation Angels”, “Visions of Cody”, “The Sea Is My Brother”, and “Big Sur”.

Kerouac is generally considered to be the father of the Beat movement and his works had a major impact on the rock music of the 1960s. Artists including Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, the Grateful Dead, and The Doors all credit Kerouac as a significant influence on their music and lifestyles.

At 11am on the morning of October 20, 1969, in St. Petersburg, Florida, Kerouac was sitting in his favorite chair drinking whiskey and malt liquor, working on a book, when he became nauseous and began to vomit blood.
Doctors at a nearby hospital attempted surgery, but a damaged liver caused by cirrhosis prevented his blood from clotting.

On October 21, 1969 Kerouac died from an abdominal hemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking in St. Petersburg, Florida where he lived with his third wife and mother Gabrielle.

He was 47.

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All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.

Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185