JC/filter

Assorted recent projects by Jorge Colombo

August 29, 2012 | 10:12am
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Music videos are everywhere, but Poetry videos are catching up. For Dispatch from the Future, a book by my friend Leigh Stein (who I met at The New Yorker when I started doing covers for them), we created a short video set on the East Village, one of her main stomping grounds. I enjoyed drawing her sitting on the same stairs where Jagger & Richards pose on the video for Waiting on a Friend.

Music videos are everywhere, but Poetry videos are catching up. For Dispatch from the Future, a book by my friend Leigh Stein (who I met at The New Yorker when I started doing covers for them), we created a short video set on the East Village, one of her main stomping grounds. I enjoyed drawing her sitting on the same stairs where Jagger & Richards pose on the video for Waiting on a Friend.

August 22, 2012 | 6:59pm
2 notes
My early iPhone finger paintings were loose and tentative, and that probably helped making them interesting. As time went by, I became more proficient and precise; in fact I’ve gone back to pretty much the kind of line I used most of my life. Only instead of tracing successive sketches over and over, I now just dim a Brushes layer and refine the lines by re-doing them on a new one. Everything done with my finger, still: removing intermediate tools from between my hand and the picture always felt like a step forward. Here’s a work-in-progress, an example of how my Recliner portraits get done.

My early iPhone finger paintings were loose and tentative, and that probably helped making them interesting. As time went by, I became more proficient and precise; in fact I’ve gone back to pretty much the kind of line I used most of my life. Only instead of tracing successive sketches over and over, I now just dim a Brushes layer and refine the lines by re-doing them on a new one. Everything done with my finger, still: removing intermediate tools from between my hand and the picture always felt like a step forward. Here’s a work-in-progress, an example of how my Recliner portraits get done.

August 10, 2012 | 10:10am
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Vinalhaven Island, Maine, one hour away from Rockland by ferry, has been one of my favorite places in the East Coast since my first visit, in 2001. It’s always a pleasure to go there, even just for a few days. This summer I managed to paint on location a series of island vistas on the iPad. I could have done more, but I was set on having water on each image.

Vinalhaven Island, Maine, one hour away from Rockland by ferry, has been one of my favorite places in the East Coast since my first visit, in 2001. It’s always a pleasure to go there, even just for a few days. This summer I managed to paint on location a series of island vistas on the iPad. I could have done more, but I was set on having water on each image.

July 29, 2012 | 1:12am
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It’s easy to lose count of the many talents of Alexis Karl, a dear friend and muse of mine for many years now. She paints, sings opera, she writes, she creates perfumes… She’s in a couple bands two: Anima Animus Animal, and Ondyne’s Demise. This year I got to shoot and design covers for a couple of their recordings. 

It’s easy to lose count of the many talents of Alexis Karl, a dear friend and muse of mine for many years now. She paints, sings opera, she writes, she creates perfumes… She’s in a couple bands two: Anima Animus Animal, and Ondyne’s Demise. This year I got to shoot and design covers for a couple of their recordings. 

July 25, 2012 | 10:30am
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I met Maria de Medeiros thirty years ago, when we were both teenagers. She has had an extensive career both as an actress and as a filmmaker, and for the past few years she’s been making records as well. Each song in her latest album, done in collaboration with Portuguese musician The Legendary Tigerman, is illustrated by a different artist. Here’s my video for 24 Mila Baci (24,000 Kisses), her cover version of an Italian rock ‘n’ roll song from the 60s. This was all finger-painted on an iPad.

I met Maria de Medeiros thirty years ago, when we were both teenagers. She has had an extensive career both as an actress and as a filmmaker, and for the past few years she’s been making records as well. Each song in her latest album, done in collaboration with Portuguese musician The Legendary Tigerman, is illustrated by a different artist. Here’s my video for 24 Mila Baci (24,000 Kisses), her cover version of an Italian rock ‘n’ roll song from the 60s. This was all finger-painted on an iPad.

June 15, 2012 | 1:24pm
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Postcards from The New Yorker: One Hundred Covers from Ten Decades, a box of cards edited by Françoise Mouly for Penguin Books, included my 2010 cover picture of the Empire Diner. Find it in the mess above. 

Postcards from The New Yorker: One Hundred Covers from Ten Decades, a box of cards edited by Françoise Mouly for Penguin Books, included my 2010 cover picture of the Empire Diner. Find it in the mess above. 

June 8, 2012 | 12:27pm
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For the past couple months I’ve been doing portraits of female friends and acquaintances. I call the series Recliners; you can see a sampler here. I have been working on this kind of thing since as early as 1984, but drawing them with my finger on an iPad (always from life) has been a refreshing change from the ink-and-watercolor approach I used for so long. 

For the past couple months I’ve been doing portraits of female friends and acquaintances. I call the series Recliners; you can see a sampler here. I have been working on this kind of thing since as early as 1984, but drawing them with my finger on an iPad (always from life) has been a refreshing change from the ink-and-watercolor approach I used for so long. 

May 4, 2012 | 1:02pm
1 note
My finger paintings on 2012 network TV, twice in a week: on a prop New Yorker on ABC’s Suburgatory, and on a 20x200.com print on the wall of Uma Thurman’s room, in NBC’s Smash. I never met Uma, but hang out one afternoon with Jane Levy (right before she got famous) so it’s nice to end up on the cover of her character’s bedside reading.

My finger paintings on 2012 network TV, twice in a week: on a prop New Yorker on ABC’s Suburgatory, and on a 20x200.com print on the wall of Uma Thurman’s room, in NBC’s Smash. I never met Uma, but hang out one afternoon with Jane Levy (right before she got famous) so it’s nice to end up on the cover of her character’s bedside reading.

April 28, 2012 | 11:24pm
2 notes
Portuguese newspaper Público has been publishing portfolios of Instagram pictures by various photographers, and Pedro Almeida invited me to show mine. (My whole output so far is here.) I used the opportunity to write down some thoughts I had on Instagram at the time. Here’s the translation, titled The Challenge of the Limitations: 
"My best stuff is not done with Instagram, but with Hipstamatic. You should check out my photo journal at ny1x1.tumblr.com. Instagram, I don’t really like it. I only use it as a challenge, to overcome limitations that bug me. The tiny portfolios, for instance, feel hodge-podgy; thus I stick to series of 4 or 8 images, to get consistency across each “shelf” on the grid. The coercive sharing is exasperating; so I only shoot mini-essays that follow each other as a narrative. (For images that do matter, there’s always Hipstamatic.)  Worse yet, the option to apply filters AFTER shooting feels like cheating; so I simply chose ONE filter each few few weeks, and that’s what I use. (As when we loaded cameras with a certain roll of film, remember?) I’m basically designing sets of rules, and embracing restrictions from the analog era, to this contemporary and uncontrollable way of propagating images. I’m trying to slow down the future just a bit. But of course I’m gonna lose the battle.”

Portuguese newspaper Público has been publishing portfolios of Instagram pictures by various photographers, and Pedro Almeida invited me to show mine. (My whole output so far is here.) I used the opportunity to write down some thoughts I had on Instagram at the time. Here’s the translation, titled The Challenge of the Limitations

"My best stuff is not done with Instagram, but with Hipstamatic. You should check out my photo journal at ny1x1.tumblr.com. Instagram, I don’t really like it. I only use it as a challenge, to overcome limitations that bug me. The tiny portfolios, for instance, feel hodge-podgy; thus I stick to series of 4 or 8 images, to get consistency across each “shelf” on the grid. The coercive sharing is exasperating; so I only shoot mini-essays that follow each other as a narrative. (For images that do matter, there’s always Hipstamatic.)  Worse yet, the option to apply filters AFTER shooting feels like cheating; so I simply chose ONE filter each few few weeks, and that’s what I use. (As when we loaded cameras with a certain roll of film, remember?) I’m basically designing sets of rules, and embracing restrictions from the analog era, to this contemporary and uncontrollable way of propagating images. I’m trying to slow down the future just a bit. But of course I’m gonna lose the battle.”

April 25, 2012 | 1:13pm
2 notes

Ted Keller and Florian Bachleda got me illustrating Fast Company's cover story “The Lost Steve Jobs Tapes” with more pictures of Jobs than I ever imagined. At least I did everything on an iPad. See them all here.  (Extra stuff available in tablet version.)

Ted Keller and Florian Bachleda got me illustrating Fast Company's cover story “The Lost Steve Jobs Tapes” with more pictures of Jobs than I ever imagined. At least I did everything on an iPad. See them all here.  (Extra stuff available in tablet version.)

March 7, 2012 | 11:23pm
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I spent the first week of March 2012 in Long Beach, California, covering TED2012: Full Spectrum in images finger painted on location, on an iPad. Full collection of images here. These were shown throughout the event on screens at Syfy’s Imaginarium, (designed by Sub Rosa) one of the social spaces that TED’s partners provide around the venue, for attendees who’d rather watch talks onscreen instead of remaining in the auditorium, or need to be working simultaneously. Like everyone else, I had previously explored online recaps of previous TED events. But attending in person was as inspiring as one might expect.

I spent the first week of March 2012 in Long Beach, California, covering TED2012: Full Spectrum in images finger painted on location, on an iPad. Full collection of images here. These were shown throughout the event on screens at Syfy’s Imaginarium, (designed by Sub Rosa) one of the social spaces that TED’s partners provide around the venue, for attendees who’d rather watch talks onscreen instead of remaining in the auditorium, or need to be working simultaneously. Like everyone else, I had previously explored online recaps of previous TED events. But attending in person was as inspiring as one might expect.

February 27, 2012 | 2:00pm
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Most of the landscapes I paint are done on location, from life. To file under those of places I’ve never been to: this Tuscany image commissioned by Nicholas Blechman for The New York Times Book Review, illustrating a text by David Leavitt

Most of the landscapes I paint are done on location, from life. To file under those of places I’ve never been to: this Tuscany image commissioned by Nicholas Blechman for The New York Times Book Review, illustrating a text by David Leavitt