To conclude the year, Taipa Village Cultural Association has specially invited internationally acclaimed Portuguese illustrator André Carrilho to showcase his personal works and artistic endeavours. Carrilho’s sketchbooks are filled mostly during his travels, offering a diversity of depictions of remote regions in Portugal, metropolises such as New York, London and Paris, and even Macau and Hong Kong, to name a few.
Carrilho’s freehand watercolour drawings typically employ only two or three overlapped colours, creating a high degree of contrast between their backgrounds and foregrounds and making them impactful with a strong sense of place. His sketchbook drawings have been published in two editions – “Inercia” (Inertia) in 2014 and “Atrito” (Friction) in 2018 – by publisher Abysmo.
In this exhibition, Carrilho blends techniques from his sketchbook drawings with Risograph photocopying and printing. The use of Risograph printers, whose manufacture dates back to Japan in 1980, has been increasingly adopted in the past decade by contemporary illustrators and artists who utilise the process’s reproducibility to create distinctive visual effects.
In a career spanning 30 years, André Carrilho has won more than 100 awards and honours for illustration, editorial cartoons, animation and caricature, and has shown his work in group and solo exhibitions in Portugal, Spain, Brazil, France, the Czech Republic, China and the United States. His work has been published in large number of newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, the Independent on Sunday, NZZ am Sonntag, Harper’s Magazine, Diário de Notícias and the New Statesman.
In 2002 he was awarded the Gold Award for Illustrator’s Portfolio by the Society for News Design (US), one of the world’s most prestigious illustration awards. In 2015, one of his cartoons on the Ebola epidemic garnered worldwide acclaim, winning the Grand Prize at the World Press Cartoon awards. The same year, he was invited to create a caricature mural to decorate the famous annual Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
In 2020 he wrote and illustrated the picture book “A Menina com os Olhos Ocupados” (The Girl with the Occupied Eyes), which won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.
André Carrilho is probably the most renowned Portuguese illustrator of the new generation. He is known for his prolific cartoons published in national and international newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, Independent on Sunday, NZZ am Sonntag, Harper’s Magazine, Diário de Notícias and New Statesman. He has also ventured with enormous success into picture books, multimedia animation and travelling sketchbooks.
For this exhibition, Carrilho selected twenty images from his travel sketchbooks “Inercia” (Inertia) and “Atrito” (Friction), both published by Abysmo in 2014 and 2018, and replicated them using the technique of risograph printing to create fine art prints. The process of replication requires the correct separation of the different colors employed in the original watercolor artwork and the final risograph print superimposes all the layers of colors detected. Certain registration errors occur when printing each image making each print unique through its imperfection! Here lies the beauty of the risograph.
Carrilho’s watercolors were hand-painted on location during a period of intense travels for both leisure and work, which included Macau, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and London. Within Portugal, there is the depiction of Porto, Viseu, Óbidos and the International Douro Park. Finding time to sit for an hour or so to absorb a place and capture it in the form of an artwork is indeed a passionate dedication to the place where time is made to stand still. Each of these places is in fact part of the artist’s personal journey and growth refracted in a mosaic of tinted images.