CSUEB Electronic Art Seniors share their thoughts!

Inspiration : Miguel Covarrubias



Miguel Covarrubias (1904-1957)

One of the many artists that has had a huge inspiration on my creative work is Miguel Covarrubias, an early 19th century painter, illustrator and caricature artist, who is most well-known for his work in print publications of the time, including covers for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker.

Covarrubias’ caricatures of pop culture and political figures were widely acclaimed for their appeal by the public-at-large; they even influenced a young Al Hirschfeld, who would become one of the most, if not the most, popular caricature artist of modern times.



I find inspiration in Covarrubias’ work because of his ability to use very simple shapes that are capable of communicating a lot to information the viewer; he avoided going overboard with superficial details. While conjuring baseless imagery out of thin air has never really been a problem for me, capturing a likeness of someone has always been a huge challenge; Covarrubias’ command of his skill allows him to capture a likeness almost effortlessly. However, it should be mentioned that one should not be fooled by his seemingly simple solutions, as they come from his comfortability with distilling down the very complex nature of the form to clear shapes. This only comes with hours of repetitive practice and keen observation.

Whenever I’m creating something and overthinking the piece (usually overworking it as well) I always come back to Covarrubias. His work reminds me that simplicity can get the point across; details can be added later. Communicate clearly first by concentrating on the major forms / shapes, then pig out on the details!



Kaseem Greene (kh2936)


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