Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mexican Masters

You all know by now the most famous mexican painters like Rivera, Siqueiros & Khalo (these days). Little known outside their homeland, these are just some of the best artists, political cartoonists and illustrators México has ever known.

Jorge Carreño was a political cartoonist, painter and consummate student of the form, sharp wit and deadly accurate social/political commentary were his weapons of choice, I liked him because he was a fantastic cartoonist and caricaturist but I loved him for the way he drew and painted women. His art lives in his son, a talented cartoonist himself but for my money there will always be only one Jorge Carreño.

Ernesto  'Che' guevara

Martin Luther King

Don Quijote

Ronald Reagan


Agustín Pinochet

Picardía Mexicana

Armando Drechsler

Armando Drechsler

Armando Drechsler 2

Antonio Gómez

Antonio Gomez

Jesús De La Helguera

jesus De La Helguera 1

jesus De La Helguera 2

Vicente Morales

Vicente Morales



Mike M said...

Wow! Thanks fer posting that stuff man!

Elisa said...

How could I resist commenting and risk not encouraging this wealth of information!

Allan L. said...

Thank you so much for sharing these images!

wcr1 said...

Nice work. Carreño's "straight" stuff (portraits and women) remind me a little of Fritz Willis. Rocio! De La Helguera's progeny are in just about every working class Mexican restaurant in Southern California.

I gotta wonder how that warrior-maiden thing got started...


Process Junkie said...

Thank you all for the comments.

wcr1: Carreño's style is pretty straightforward, commonplace and academic to a degree but at the same time comes across as honest and unpretentious. My favorite pieces of his are the ones in which he let his knack for caricature permeate the girls he painted, as in the "international line-up" I posted earlier.

Back in the day, most Latin American political cartoonists weren't just "cartoonists": they thought of themselves as social reformers of some sort, talked about their civil responsibilities as if they were chosen as "the" voice of the people. Some lived up to their "call". They took themselves very seriously.

Not unlike his counterparts, Carreño was also an observer and reporter of social issues and a formidable critic of fucked up politicians, but he did not appear to have been as self-righteous and elitist, I suspect he was an artist first and as such,(although I don't think he would have admitted to this) he was more concerned with aesthetics than with politics.Why else would someone spend so much time and effort in oil/watercolor or acrylic-painted mini masterpieces?, when the norm for editorial cartoonists who chronicled current events was to rush these vignettes in either grease pencil or ink?, which he also did. Granted, some of the more "finished" pieces were reserved for monthly magazines but his work is a lot more thorough and elaborate than most.

His editorial work was harshly critical at times but never vulgar, true, it doesn't grab you like Levine or Steadman at their virulent best but Carreños work, however solemn and apparently tamed is just as malignant to his enemies and viciously effective, if not for his sheer wit and humanity.

I gather he was a fan of Willis, Loomis and the American pin-up artists of the forties and fifties, as you said.

I don't know how that the warrior-maiden thing started, but yeah, it has graced many chests, backs and murals in SoCal I think it's up there with the Virgin of Guadalupe as one of the most recognizable Mexican icons.


Mike M said...

A repro of De La Helguera's painting there hung in the "Mexican Village' resturant in Detroit which I ate at all the time with my familia until I moved east. My parents still eat there...it used to mezzzzmorize me as a kid, along with the jungle diarama in the back of the resturant, complete with volcano and waterfall.

fanooch said...

Ernesto Garcia Cabral. Dont know his politics, but I like his goils.
Best regards.

Process Junkie said...

One of my favorites, I had to scan some stuff but he's next

Juan Palomino said...

look for Leopoldo Mendez.

José Cruz said...

Just wondering why none of the images are appearing? Would love to re-post this on Carreño on my blog and recommend this to my friends on Facebook but the images are gone. Do you have these on Flickr? Anyway if you would like to contact me, I'm an illustrator and would really like to view the images. Not much of Carreño's worx on the internet. There little even on his son Luis Carreño's Blog [http://luiscarreno.blogspot.com/] who is just as talented as his dad. Are you on Facebook? We should become friends there. I'm at jose-x.com or x-factor-e.com. My blog is at http://x-factor-e.blogspot.com/
José Cruz

Process Junkie said...


The images were hosted privately so when that service ended it rendered my whole blog blank.

I have all of the images for Carreño and various other Mexicans illustrators of that era.

I'll put them up on my facebook page this coming weekend.

Please feel free to contact me at: alberto@brandstudio.com