Jen Bekman Artist to Watch: Jorge Colombo


Twice a month, Sara Distin from Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. contributes a post to Flavorwire about an artist or photographer. Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. includes Jen Bekman Gallery, 20×200 and Hey, Hot Shot!

In a 2007 interview, artist Jorge Colombo affirmatively answered the question: “Do you feel like the minimal tool helps erase the distinction between living and working?” He followed up by saying, “Art-making tools are an unavoidable burden, although some, like a pencil or a drum, come across as quite organic. The more discreet they are, the less mediating they feel: instead of something ‘special,’ they become more like fingers, or the voice… almost as immaterial as words, or memory itself.”

So it only seems natural that Jorge’s received plentiful attention in the blogosphere as of late for his recent New Yorker cover, drawn entirely with his finger on his iPhone, with the Brushes app.

Image credit: iSketch098 by Jorge Colombo

While a lot’s been said about said app, not a lot (until yesterday!) has been said about the fact that Colombo’s been making art for awhile — the new tool is a logical extension for his long existing practice. He started documenting his Dailies project, quick pocket-sized sketches of New Yorkers in their habitats, on February 22, 1999 and had published three books in his native Portugal earlier in the 90s. He started using the iPhone app earlier this year, fluidly replacing his watercolor/pen/pencil for the tip of his finger, creating gloriously glowing sketches on the screen, just as he had been doing on paper.

Evidence of this natural transition are the prints created from the sketches: sans backlit device, the drawings are luminous on matte paper and surreal on the cover of the New Yorker.