José Cruz: ICONOCLAST


That great populist TV art evangelist from the '50s Jon Gnagy always opened his program with "If you can draw these simple forms: the ball, cone, cube and cylinder, you can draw a real picture the very first time you try" I'm not really sure that it was true, but my good friend and master illustrator José Cruz has taken that dictum quite literally, pushed it about as far as it can be pushed, made it his mantra and applied it to his work. It can be seen in its purest form in the geometric caricatures he has posted on his icon©last Blog. The art of the caricature has always amazed me, but even more so in his startling work. How is it that with these few lines in his carefully composed geometric configurations that we can actually identify specific individuals? I don't understand why, but they work—and artfully so! If you're skeptical, look at the three below: from the Sopranos—Paulie "Walnuts", from Curb Your Enthusiasm—Cheryl David, and from Entourage—Drama. For more on the art of the caricature, check out "Celebrity Caricature in America" at the National Portrait Gallery.