Coney Island, Brooklyn

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Artist Statement


I keep going back to urban landscapes, drawing them from life as often as possible, zooming on the visual grammar touches that define a location. My favorite kind of architecture is the one of mismatches, accidents, imitations, mistakes. They make for a rich patchwork of stories to be explored, or simply guessed. Sometimes I’ll be discovering a place for the first time; other times I’ll mix personal experiences and past memories, but also references to art and movies and photographs on the same subject. Most of my work is drawn or painted on location, from life, on a touch screen. I had spent decades using ink and watercolor, but in 2009 my enthusiasm was renewed as I started finger-painting on an iPhone 3G. (Today I use an Apple Pencil on an iPad.) The initial results lacked the level of precision and control I used to have, and have since regained, but the immediacy of the tool was a perfect match for my wandering practice. Haven’t used ink or brushes in a while. I’m still enjoying the discovery period. As years go by I realize being a beginner is far more interesting than being a veteran.


Jorge Colombo | See All Editions


Jorge Colombo has worked as an illustrator, as a photographer and as graphic designer, for more than 30 years. He's best known for the digital images he’s been doing since 2009, initially finger-painting on an iPhone, more recently on an iPad with an Apple Pencil. Four 20x200 editions released in April 2009 led to his first cover for The New Yorker, highlighted by the media as the first magazine cover ever created on a smartphone. His images continue appearing in The New Yorker and many other publications. His collection of one hundred NYC views, "New York: Finger Paintings by Jorge Colombo," featuring essays by Jen Bekman and Christoph Niemann, was published in 2011 by Chronicle Books, in collaboration with 20x200. Colombo was born in 1963 in Lisbon, Portugal, and moved to the USA in 1989. He lived in Chicago, in San Francisco and has been living in New York City since 1998 with his wife, artist Amy Yoes. Learn more about Jorge in our In the Studio interview!