Miguel Calatayud: Spanish Illustration in the 1970s
Posted June 6, 2010on:
High Five loves to talk about writers almost as much as we love to talk about superheroes. Today, I’m taking a break to discuss a talent that falls outside of our typical modus operandi while remaining under the larger umbrella of Comics. Americans can be notorious for our ignorance of world events at any given moment. Disinterested in world news, we are often disinterested in world culture as well. We like British writers because they speak English, and we like French comics because they make us feel cultured. But, if pressed to name a Spanish comic most of us would say “Ferdinand the Bull.”
The 1970s were a fantastic era for popular art, film, and music. Rap, electronica, heavy metal, and punk rock were born; lightweight color cameras were invented enabling an explosion of beautiful motion pictures; and Spain saw the rise of artist Miguel Calatayud as he illustrated Los Doce Trabajos de Hercules and Peter Petrake. With boldness and a simplicity that belies its craftsmanship, Calatayud evoked raw emotion from his vibrant landscapes.
What I find most fascinating about Catalayud is the blatant influence of Pablo Picasso. This should hardly surprise us as both men were Spanish. Yet, for as famous as Mr. Picasso is, we rarely consider the influence of his art upon thes in a world of High Art, detached from the simple musings of pop and comics. In thick lines and bold colors Miguel Calatayud shows us this is not always true. contemporary popular culture of his time. Picasso’s art live
Sadly, all or most of Catalayud’s work is out of print. If you want to own his work it may be possible to find something used on eBay, or if you’re really lucky it might turn up in a used book store. If you get that lucky I’ll envy you forever. The rest of us must be content with what is available in the fabulous world of the internet. You can find more information at grainedit.com and bibliotecathule.blogspot.com.