Calendar 2009

El color del tiempo

Argentinean artist José Muñoz, one of the world’s best-known comic-strip illustrators and authors, has been chosen by Burgo Group to design its 2009 calendar.
The choice of Muñoz came naturally to the Burgo Group. Muñoz has an extraordinary ability to illustrate his comic strips with strong, radiant colours that are as effective as the “peremptory and gloomy black and white” of his illustrations. These colours can be greatly heightened by paper quality.
For the calendar’s illustrations, Muñoz had to address “calendar time, a cosmic time that transcends human stories regulated by the passing of the months and seasons”. His illustrations can therefore be read as “a kind of marvellous transition from pen to brush, from the black ‘of suspicious glances and cautious steps to the coloured plein air of his mixed-media paintings’ ” (Goffredo Fofi). Stories, biographical fragments emerging from memory, can be glimpsed in the images he has created. And perhaps the little paper boats that appear in every image are not just a reference to the client’s business, but “the sign of a time that possesses us”.
Month after month, through the calendar’s images, Muñoz constructs a story, a fable, as in one of his comic-strip narratives.

Criticism

 


José Antonio Muñoz

José Muñoz was born in 1942 in Buenos Aires where, student of Alberto Breccia and Hugo Pratt, he attended the “Esquela Panamericana de Arte”; he also studied drawing, painting and sculpture in the studio of Humberto Cerantonio. He made his debut in comics as assistant to Francisco Solano López, later illustrating stories by Héctor Oesterheld written for the magazines “Hora Cero” and “Frontiera”. His first important achievement came in 1963 with the “Precinto 56” drawings for texts by Eugenio Zappietro in the magazine “Misterix”.
In 1972 he headed for Europe, laying down roots in London and then Milan. In 1974 he met Argentine author Carlos Sampayo, an event that would leave an indelible mark on his future. Together, between 1975 and 1991 the two created Alack Sinner and produced Sophie, Nel Bar, Sudor Sudaca, Games of Lights, Billie Holiday, Europe in flames, The Poet.
Since 1989 he has exhibited his tempera, pastels and Indian inks at the Nuages gallery of Milan.
In 1994 and 1996 Muñoz, worked on texts by North American writer Jerome Charyn: Snake-bite and Panna Maria; both published by Hazard Editions.
In 2001 he moved to Paris and in the same year Hazard Editions published the Muñoz catalogue, Man of China, to accompany a travelling exhibition.
Since 2003 he has worked with the Guanda publishing company.
His books have been published in French, English, German, Finnish, Greek, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Serbian, Danish and Castilian.
He is currently completing a new book with Sampayo on the life of Carlos Gardel, due for publication in Italy by Nuages Editions.
 
Munoz