Big Bang, Big Boom. It’s BLU Again!

The crew at have found some sponsors who appear to have hundreds of litres of paint at their disposal. The team are really stretching their ideas by the bucketload, too.

It’s an amazing amount of work, as you will see from browsing the website.

thumbnail of Mural painting, big time.

Have a look at BLU’s many works here, and if you pursue the links in the blog section,
thumbnail of Mural painting, big time.

you’ll be steered to the site of one of his many collaborators, Eric Ailcane

thumbnail of Mural painting, big time.



Extreme Typographic Fandom & A Curiously Star Struck Dog

You probably have at least one favourite typeface, and I’m pretty sure that you’re likely to favour a dozen or so others that you can happily deploy depending on context and use, of course.

Now some of your stable of old faithful faces will eventually amble quietly out to pasture beyond your studio door, either because they have become over familiar and tired, or because times have moved on and their stars have simply waned.
Those faces will inevitably be replaced by stellar newcomers from freshly published collections, crackling with energy and wit, alongside others that sail through the window promising radical new twists on classic themes.

In typography, nothing stays still for long, which makes it very difficult to answer the question of which is your absolute all time favourite face.

This dilemma is even more tricky if you have to choose a typeface to express something very long lasting.

Such as a tattoo, for instance….

thumbnail of Beauty Is Truth
(Click these small images to enlarge them, please)

The typeface used on this guy’s arm is Burgues Script. It was designed by Alejandro Paul (below), who is one of the founder members of the Argentinian type design house Sudtipos. The typeface is based on the late 19th century American calligrapher Louis Madarasz’s work, whose legendary pen has inspired schools of penmanship for over 100 years. His talent has caused some people to call him ‘the most skillful penman the world has ever known’.

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Spline City: The master typographer at his workstation.

Burgues Script seems to lend itself easily to the traditional aesthetic of tattoos with all its hairline swashes and wild cursive extenders.

There are other fans who recognise how stylish Burgues Script can look when applied to the skin.
thumbnail of Amare tattoo
Shame about the technical quality of that picture…1
This one is better, in so many ways:

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Nearly nerfect, in fact.

Click the link to the right if you want to read the rest of this article: >> Continue reading Extreme Typographic Fandom & A Curiously Star Struck Dog

Footnotes for this post:____________________________________
  1. It looks as if someone has used a telephone to take the snap with. How crazy is that? I expect you will tell me that in the future we will talk into our cameras and expect people to hear us. []

Jose Maria Cao – Caricaturist

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Guillermo White in “Caras y Caretas” 1906
(Click the pictures to enlarge them, please.)

A brief bio of Seňor Cao reveals that he was born in the North-East of Spain (Galicia) in December 1862. He showed a precocious talent for drawing, and from a very early age put his artistic talents to use in a decorative ceramics factory, where he learned to sculpt with Jose Lopez, making altarpieces.

In 1886 he emigrated from Galicia to Argentina, like so many of his compatriots who could not make a living from the land and who set their sights on the chance of adventure in the Americas.

Arriving dirt poor in Argentina he made his living as a quick sketch artist and portraitist on the Paseo Colon in Buenos Aires.

After working as an engraver, Cao took a job as an art master in a school from which base he was able to freelance for several magazines, and in 1887 he worked alongside the Madrileno Eduardo Sojo on a satirical magazine called Don Quixote that got them both into deep political trouble (If I’m translating the text on this page correctly.)

Argentina was going through political turmoil at the time, and despite working under synonyms, someone made an attempt to assassinate Cao because of a caricature he’d drawn of General Capdevila. A public scandal erupted when Cao and his colleague Sojo were both imprisoned for eight days before being released by General Roca. The dissenting magazine was shut down by the government.

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Horatio Rodriguez Larreta, Lawyer in “Caras y Caretas” February 1911

“Caras y Caretas” and “Fray Mucho” were two Argentinian political magazines for which Cao was a regular contributor.

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Isabelino Gradin Football champion in “Caras y Caretas” 1903

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Manuel F. Mantilla in “Caras y Caretas” 1904

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Jose Figueroa Alcorta in “Caras y Caretas” 1907

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Percival Farquhar Capitalist & Railway Baron in “Fray Mucho” 1913

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Ernesto Bosch wrestling Indelecio Gomez The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for the Interior discussing policy “Fray Mucho” 1913

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From “Fray Mucho” Magazine 1912

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Enrique Navarro Viola 1908″

Download the catalogue, and contemplate the abilities that Cao must have gained from his early adventures with kinesthetic three dimensional sculpting, and how that has fed into his amazing skills in two dimensional drawing.

Myself, I’m deeply impressed by Cao’s work, and I’d personally love to see these solid little figure drawings transcribed into 3D animated figures – they have such convincing volume and presence.

Jose Maria Cao died in 1918 aged 55, in Lanus, Buenos Aires.

Just a quick editorial note to say that I couldn’t suppress my instinctive and immediate impulse to enhance the original illustrations, (most of them were horribly brown with age), which means that you will be looking at images that have been tweaked and interpreted by me in this post.

If you object to my tampering with scans of original artwork, please download the Acrobat PDF file from the show of Cao’s work that was exhibited earlier this year in Argentina, and study the originals. It contains dozens upon dozens of fabulous drawings that I couldn’t possibly fit into one post, “improved” or not. So download it anyway!

My reasoning is that I’d like to get as close as possible to the originals, and seeing these amazing pictures through a veil of brown haze isn’t satisfactory.

An appreciative nod to Oscar Grillo for introducing me to Cao’s work.
Edited 28-03-’08