For the Love of Peanuts

Contemporary Artists Reimagine the Iconic Characters of Charles M. Schulz


By Elizabeth Anne Hartman

By Peanuts Global Artist Collective

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$45.50 CAD



  1. Hardcover $35.00 $45.50 CAD
  2. ebook $16.99 $21.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 29, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A gorgeous, coffee-table collection that captures the energy, excitement, and, of course, the love, behind Peanuts first-ever partnership and public art exhibition with seven major internationally renowned artists including Nina Chanel Abney, AVAF (Assume Vivid Astro Focus), FriendsWithYou, Mr. A (Andre Saraiva), Tomokazu Matsuyama, Rob Pruitt, and Kenny Scharf.

Launched in early 2018, the Peanuts Global Artist Collective — which features dozens of specially commissioned pieces by seven high-profile distinguished artists — has been an international sensation that includes major public art displays in more than seven cities around the world, as well as product and retail partnerships.

The artists selected to reinterpret the work of Charles Schulz are Nina Chanel Abney, AVAF (Assume Vivid Astro Focus), FriendsWithYou, Mr. A (Andre Saraiva), Tomokazu Matsuyama, Rob Pruitt, and Kenny Scharf.

This beautifully designed and illustrated tie-in book collects the original works by each artist as well as interviews and information on what inspired their unique and delightful renditions of our favorite Peanuts characters. It also includes behind-the-scenes imagery and rarely seen material from the Peanuts archive.
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  • FEATURING ARTISTS: who captured the love behind the original Peanuts Comic


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FIGURE 1: AVAF, New York City;

FIGURE 4: Mr A, New York City;

FIGURE 5: Rob Pruitt, Seoul, South Korea;

FIGURE 6: Tomokazu Matsuyama Tokyo, Japan;

FIGURE 7: Nina Chanel Abney, Paris, France;

André Saraiva (Mr. A) used graffiti as the first way to make his mark on the world. Now an established hotelier, restaurateur, and nightlife pioneer, Saraiva has never put away his spray can. His playful character Mr. A, as he is best known, stylistically fits right in with the Peanuts characters.

Nina Chanel Abney is known for combining representation and abstraction in a saturated color palette. Her paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture in subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, sex, and art history. She was a natural pick for a collaboration with Peanuts.

assume vivid astro focus (AVAF) was founded by Brazilian-born artist Eli Sudbrack in 2001, and uses a vast array of media, including painting, drawing, installations, video, sculpture, neons, wallpaper, and decals. His colorful, high-energy work mirrors Schulz’s humor.

FriendsWithYou is the fine art collaborative of Samuel Albert Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, working collectively since 2002 with the sole purpose of spreading the positive message of Magic, Luck, and Friendship—an obvious continuation of Peanuts themes.

Tomokazu Matsuyama’s work responds to his own bicultural experience of growing up between Japan and America by bringing together aspects of both Eastern and Western aesthetic systems. His work with Peanuts offers a new perspective on iconic images.

Rob Pruitt is an American post-conceptual artist who works primarily in painting, installation, and sculpture. He is perhaps best known for his ongoing series of pandas as well as gradient paintings. He also is known for his use of Peanuts characters in his work already, which made him an easy choice with whom to collaborate on this project.

Kenny Scharf is an American painter and installation artist who is associated with the Lowbrow movement and who was part of the East Village art scene during the 1980s. He is best known for his visually dynamic work inspired by comic books and pop culture.

After Peanuts made their selections, the first thing the artists were asked to do was to visit the Schulz Museum, and to view his active studio. While in Santa Rosa, they met Jean Schulz, Charles’s widow, and gained access to all of Schulz’s original works, archives, and fonts. This experience helped the artists develop personal connections not just to the Peanuts brand, history, and artwork, but also to the humanity of Mr. Schulz himself.

We then asked each artist to come up with three ideas for public art projects, which ranged from murals to roller-skating rinks to monumental interactive inflatables. What speaks to me the loudest about this collaboration is that Peanuts launched it with a public mural project. Art has always been the true foundation of this project, and I believe it is exemplified in every aspect of the process.

The very essence of our mission was to honor Charles Schulz as, first and foremost, an artist, and to expand the legacy of Peanuts through the visionaries of our time.


FIGURE 8: Tomokazu Matsuyama, Berlin, Germany.


As a child I would visit my grandfather at work; I would walk through the office filled with toys, books, and blankets. The colorfulness, which vibrated as I entered the building, diluted into deep, rich tones of navy and wood as I moved into the back room. I bounded across the carpet and stood by his side, watching his hand glide across the paper, leaving a trail of ink from beneath his grip. As he both rigidly and gracefully tossed his hand around the paper, a familiar image began to appear: Linus’s profile. It blew my mind that my grandpa could so accurately draw this character.

Once, at the ice arena he built across from the studio, I asked if I could buy a hot chocolate, and my mom told me to put it on our family’s tab. I stood at the counter, barely able to see over it, and with my voice wavering with complete uncertainty, I told them my mom was Judy. They looked at me blankly, and I ran back to my mom in utter confusion and embarrassment. I eventually learned that hot chocolates went on the “Schulz” tab. However, it wasn’t until my grandfather passed away that the magnitude of his life and accomplishments hit me. At the time, I had no idea why so many strangers had shown up to his memorial. I had no idea so many people were reading the same drawings he made that I, too, was reading. The impact of his career came to me in waves, and still, I am reaching new levels of comprehension. My thesis as an undergraduate appropriated text from the strip, and in graduate school I began to read more about what he was saying with the strips, rather than what he had the characters say. Every studio visit I had with visiting artists, professors, or peers seemed to begin with each person’s personal experience with Peanuts. And though I am so proud to be related to such a passionate, decent, and exceptional artist, he will always first be my grandfather, who liked to draw.

Art inherently possesses the ability to communicate and removes the hostility that can be found in the limitations of language. Revolutions gain momentum through artists and their capacity to critique the current landscape, baked into the camouflage or boldness of their medium. From the beginning, Peanuts tackled controversial issues under the guise of childhood innocence. From civil rights, feminism, and religion to psychiatry, philosophy, and depression, Schulz, known to his family and friends as “Sparky,” used the characters to negotiate these issues into the mainstream discourse. The universally relatable and minimalist quality of the strip allowed room for the complexity of the content. This wasn’t an accident, but a strategic decision that evolved during the early years of the strip.

Abstract expressionist Jay Meuser said, “It is far better to capture the glorious spirit of the sea than to paint all of its tiny ripples.” Schulz began to distill the strip, sacrificing his technical expertise in perspective for an intimate bond between his characters and the readers. He said, “As the strip grew, it took on a slight degree of sophistication, although I have never claimed to be the least sophisticated myself. But it also took on a quality that I think is even more important, and that is one which I can only describe as abstraction… Snoopy’s doghouse could function only if it were drawn from a direct side view. Snoopy himself had become a character so unlike a dog, he could no longer inhabit a real doghouse.”

Sparky often talked about Picasso and his great sense of design, though his own use of abstraction created a new language within cartooning. Picasso said, “A face has two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. You can put them where you want.” As long as Sparky could capture the essence of a dog, a bird, a kid, the visual gaps that lie between those marks opened up the panel for the viewer to insert themselves. The features of each character shifted with the direction of their gaze, and the sight of both eyes placed on the side of one’s head was no longer jarring.

Sparky made endless references to artists, writers, and musicians in the strip: Vincent van Gogh, Thomas Eakins, Rod McKuen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Gay, Leo Tolstoy, Ludwig van Beethoven, Andrew Wyeth; but in a lot of ways I believe his subtlety was overlooked. In a drawing titled “Things I’ve Had to Learn Over and Over,” we see Sally standing in front of a messy closet under a pull-string lightbulb. This hanging bulb is a recurring image in mid-century abstract expressionist Philip Guston’s cartoonish paintings of the 1960s, taken from his childhood experience in which he would hide in the closet, reading and drawing under the single bulb.

With Sparky’s title in mind, Guston wrote, “I knew that I would need to test painting all over again in order to appease my desires for the clear and sharper enigma of solid forms in an imagined space, a world of tangible things, images, subjects, stories, like the way art always was.”

Sparky and Guston shared in common a fascination with the comic strip Krazy Kat. Sparky said in an interview, “I just wanted to draw a comic strip that was regarded as highly as Krazy Kat. Krazy Kat is regarded as probably the greatest strip that was ever drawn. And I just want to contribute something that would be that good.”

For generations Peanuts has narrated our life, voiced our insecurities, and revealed what true happiness is. The strip had a unique ability to speak to a universal and ageless audience, something that makes it still relevant for today’s young readers. The Peanuts Global Artist Collective has been given the exciting responsibility to interpret his characters through the lens of their individual practices. There has always been a reciprocal relationship between Peanuts and fine art, and to expand that conversation into public spaces brings the conversation back to the foundation of the original medium: accessibility. Charles M. Schulz said, “Not many cartoons live into the next generation, and that probably is the best definition of art, isn’t it? Does it speak to succeeding generations? Real art, real music, real literature speaks to succeeding generations. And not many comic strips do that.” It is undeniable by his own definition to argue that Peanuts is real art, and Sparky, my grandfather, was a true artist.



NINA CHANEL ABNEY roared onto the art scene in 2007 with a single painting—Class of 2007. It was her final thesis project at Parsons School of Design, where she received an MFA. The painting depicts Abney, who is black, as a white, gun-toting prison guard with a flowing blond mane and her classmates, all of whom were white, as black inmates. When Chelsea gallery owners Marc Wehby and Susan Kravets saw the painting, they signed her immediately. They sent a photograph of the painting to Mera and Don Rubell, Miami-based art collectors and founders of the Rubell Family Collection, who bought it, sight unseen, to appear in the 2008 30 Americans show, which showcased works by 30 important, contemporary African-American artists of the last three decades. The exhibit, which has toured museums and galleries in America since 2008, focuses on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity in contemporary culture while exploring the powerful influence of artistic legacy and community across generations.

Abney has continued to make headlines with her work. In 2015, Vanity Fair featured a profile entitled “How Nina Chanel Abney Is Championing the Black Lives Matter Movement with a Paintbrush.” And a December 2017 Hyperallergic review of two of her shows declared that the artist “paints on the edge of violence.” But to talk about Abney painting in any one particular way, or to express any one particular sentiment, is a misrepresentation. She is emphatic on this point: “While I touch on certain issues, I try to keep everyone guessing. I never want to be in one land.”


  • "For the Love of Peanuts presents the work of the Peanuts Global Artist Collective, a group of seven contemporary artists commissioned to create murals honoring the life and characters of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz."—Publishers Weekly

On Sale
Oct 29, 2019
Page Count
152 pages

Elizabeth Anne Hartman

About the Author

Elizabeth Anne Hartman is contributing editor to Publishers Weekly and a freelance writer for The Wall Street Journal‘s “Off Duty” section. A former art gallery manager, she also writes marketing material for art galleries and artists. She holds a Master of Art History and the Art Market from Christie’s Education, a Masters of Library Science from Long Island University and a BA in philosophy from Colgate University. She splits her time between Manhattan and Quogue, NY.

Peanuts World Wide: Charles Schulz’s (1922-2000) Peanuts comic strip debuted in 1950 and went on to become the most widely read comic strip in the world, with an audience of 355 million people in 75 countries. It ran in 2,600 newspapers and was published in 21 languages.

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