“Here’s where I have spent a good part of this summer. Sure, I have a desk at home, surrounded by books and archives and mementos. But that would be the thing I’d miss the least, should I have to let it go. I like to travel light. I tend to pare my equipment down to a minimum. I understand the appeal a nest-like studio or a wall of tools offer to some; I’m just not one of them. From a very young age I stopped doing drawings that wouldn’t fit in my briefcase: couldn’t be bothered with large portfolios or flat files. It comes as no surprise I’d be so quick to embrace a way of working that only required a cell phone inside my pocket. (And the phone is as inspiring as a studio wall: between full movies and small clips, an extensive scrapbook, collections of work by many artists, I carry in my phone far more work by others than my own. And look at it all the time.) I’m still faithful to my red leather appointment book, but otherwise I’m all for keeping my universe underneath a touch screen.
Rather than the predictability of the fixed studio, I’m driven by the surprise element: where will the day take me? I have no problem working in uncomfortable settings: loud ambiance, bad music, tricky weather. These days, it all boils down to finding a decent wi-fi spot once in a while… and a place to recharge my sketchbook’s battery. The Bryant Park branch of New York Public Library fits both requisites in quite a glamorous way.”
Jorge Colombo was born in 1963 in Lisbon, Portugal; moved to the USA in 1989. He currently lives in New York with his wife, artist Amy Yoes. Jorge has worked as an illustrator, photographer and graphic designer. He was the art director of Chicago’s NewCity, San Francisco magazine, and Jungle Media in NYC. He has published three books in Portugal: Fullerton, a retrospective of his 1990s drawings; Of Big and of Small Love, a photographic narrative created in collaboration with novelist Inês Pedrosa; and Lisbon Revisited, a series of tinted photographs inspired by early 20th-century poet Fernando Pessoa. His cover illustration for the June 1, 2009 issue of The New Yorker was the first one created on an iPhone for a major magazine. Video animations of his Finger Paintings have since appeared weekly in The New Yorker.
Kate declares: The New York Public Library; about as good as it gets. Travelling light is a rarity these days, especially in New York. It’s also a smart way to move about, especially leaving behind that which is distracting. Jorge’s work truly captures the true essence of city life, the larger picture peppered with those little moments.