Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Oscar Grillo - Humble Genius

Check out these great sketches by animator, cartoonist and designer Oscar Grillo.
You can see some of his influences and they are from all over the place, from impressionist artists to the Fleischers, Disney, John Held Jr. and humanity itself. Then he mixes it all up and adds a large dose of his own unique look at the world.


http://grillomation.blogspot.com/

I remember first seeing his animation in the 80s and being impressed by how modern and traditional it was at the same time.

Seaside Woman is a music video he did for the McCartneys. In the bleak animation landscape of the 1980s, this stood out like a beacon of light. (Sorry for the crappy cliche, but it really did). It showed animation could still be fresh, fun, stylish and skillfully done without formula.

I wish I could find a clearer copy of it, but here it is:



This influenced and inspired me a lot - although he draws a lot better than I do.

56 comments:

Kali Fontecchio said...

He's very cool!

Matías B. said...

He's argentinian too, which also adds him to a rich tradition of out-of-this-world artists original from this region of the planet. (i´m uruguayan).

kurtwil said...

Oscar's piece's nicely animated, full of clever use of negative spaces, and a lot of perspective drawing and posing that digital cutout animation (the rage in so many shows now) can't touch.

Still, seeing all these older works, (including your own (Ren, Stimpy, MM The new adventures)) raises the question... what new, fresh things can 2D and drawn animation can do in this 3D, Performance capture age?

It's not coming from Disney ... Princess and the Frog offered a bunch of nice FX and compositing tricks, but otherwise felt like a rehash (am I imagining that PATF animation often felt rushed and strobey)?

Mykal said...

John: To continue the cliches - that animation was a real breath of fresh air! -- Mykal

JoJo said...

Wow, this is great! Never heard of this guy or saw this music video before. I thought the compositions were really nice too. Thanks for sharing it.

Elana Pritchard said...

Wow that video is really cool. Do you really think he draws better than you do? I would just say different.

JohnK said...

Nah. He draws better. I cheat. He draws for real.

semola souto said...

aguante grillo,
el mejor dibujante del mundo mundial, y es argentino.
semola

RooniMan said...

That video gets an A+++++++++++++++++++++...(and it keeps on going...)

Ceu D'Ellia said...

Grillo draws much better than most of us...

Austin Papageorge said...
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Austin Papageorge said...
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crolyss said...

great video.
reminds me of the style of an advert on tv that was famous in the 1980s
for kia ora orange drink

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3_IeiJ5Vok

Luis María Benítez said...

I watched this video a few times thanks to a program about animation hosted by Caloi (a great artist from Argentina). With that program you could watch these kind of gems. Too bad it's out of the air now.

Trevor Thompson said...

What's he doing these days?

C said...

What a fun video! Kid sure is cute. I like the way she explores everything.

Juz Capes said...

On YouTube there was an old video of 'Rolf's Cartoon Club' where Rolf Harris interviews Oscar Grillo about that piece of animation, but for some reason it has been removed.

Rolf Harris - Cartoon Time Still, forgot about his old show which exposed me to lots of classic cartoons when I was young.

Chris said...

John, have you seen Oscar's comic work?
The World Is Round

Kristen McCabe said...

Wow! This guy's amazing!

Shawn Dickinson said...

I've never seen that before, great video!

Hey Chris, those comics are great too!

Chris said...

Thanks, Shawn. I was thrilled when I tracked that book down. I had first seen Oscar Grillo's work in Animation Blast and was an instant fan. When I finally got that book and opened it, my mouth dropped! It's truly gorgeous!

Here is Oscar's reaction to the posting of his comic.

AtomicTiki said...

Instantly fell in love with the video, thanks for sharing this man!

Dave said...

if you liked Grillo you might like Gross.

http://www.cmgross.com/

aalong64 said...

Just over a year ago Chuck Gammage introduced me to a bunch of Grillos's work, along with many others. I love the way he illustrates absurd, surreal ideas with such detail, such as having a lion in the corner of an apartment watching people have sex.

I also find it funny how his drawings sometimes seem to be deliberately falling apart, as if he were parodying the way some people focus too much on surface details in lieu of form and structure.

His book "The World is Round" is pretty cool, too. I never got to read it thoroughly, but the colours in it really made an impression on me.

Kingfish said...

Thanks John, I wasn't aware of Grillo but this is fantastic!

I've just been looking at his blog: http://grillomation.blogspot.com/

(On another note, this isn't the best McCartney song but it's nice to see something from them too!)

Zartok-35 said...

Thats a pretty neat music video.

thomas said...

A nice post segue; from Milt Gross to this one. I like the zooming movement in the video. Wished it was a full length film.

Fernando Sosa said...

All genius Don Oscar Grillo, and proudly boasts that one is Argentine despite years who is in England, but her little heart and great friends are here too, in our land.
Deserved tribute you've done to John., Forgive my poor English.

Niki said...

Is this better?

joAco said...

There is kind of a "school" in argentina of people that draw like this.
It reminded me the work of Carlos Nine, and I think they're pretty similar, but I cannot tell wich came first.
http://www.carlosnine.com/

and, by the way, you should check out http://www.caloi.com.ar/ and http://rodolfofucile.blogspot.com

-jjmm- said...

Maybe you should also see the work of Carlos and Lucas Nine; I think that it's somehow in tune.

Oscar Grillo said...

Hey, Man!!!!....What a surprise!!!!!!!
Happy, Happy, Happy...Joy, Joy Joy!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you!

Kate McElroy said...

Wow this is great! Thanks so much for sharing!

Conceit Arturo said...

I'm loving his stuff John...but the curiosity just eats me up....why are his drawing so definitely better? is it the balls and rubber arms thing?

lastangelman said...

crolyss said...

great video.
reminds me of the style of an advert on tv that was famous in the 1980s
for kia ora orange drink


I remember this ad when I was living in UK in '80's. One of my favorites {"I'll be your dog!")It was done by Richard Williams, of Roger Rabbit and Thief and The Cobbler fame.
I hadn't seen Seaside Woman in twenty years, used to have a McCartney bootleg VHS collection ('til it was stolen)with all his seventies promotional videos, his 1980 SNL apearance w/ Father Guido Sarducci, People's Concert For Kampuchea and Wings Over The World (later known as Rockshow).

Matthew Cruickshank said...

Oscar's a tour de force, one of the best!!

When I met him I was pretty disillusioned with drawing and in a bit of a rut-his drawings showed a way to distort and go further, he really lit up my imagination.

Each time I'm lucky enough to spend time with him he reinvigorates me and replenishes my artistic energy. And he makes me laugh so damn hard!

It's pretty intimidating seeing him draw, the images emerge from the page in a subconscious stream, but they're always solid forms with correct abstract anatomy!! Phenomenal.

Scrawnypumpkinseed said...

That was great cartoon! The black/white scene was beautiful!

Tim said...

Grillo and Ted Rockley set up Klacto studios in 1981.

According to Klacto's website, the Kia Ora and Umbongo adverts were some of their first commissions in the early 80s. On another website I read that Adrian Edwards animated the Kia Ora adverts.

Ollie said...

Wow, that was great. I've never seen that before. It reminded me of that Kiaora ad as well.

Whit said...

"Seaside Woman" may not be the best McCartney song but it is far and away the best McCartney animated song video. Oscar Grillo does the finest work in independent or commercial film on earth.

JohnK said...

Hi Oscar!

Thanks for all your great films!

Mansilla said...

I met Oscar Grillo and his wife in person and they are very generous and kind people. Oscar is one of the greatest draughtsman of Argentine of all times.
Oscar has another blogs:

http://okgrillo.blogspot.com/

Amblagar Studio said...

A cool argentinian artist!Myself being argentinian have never seen before this animation video...really fresh, still today!

Amblagar Studio said...

Ah! John and everyone there...you should see the work of carlos nine, an argentinian genius...really he does a very stylized work with a lot of "Tango" spirit in it... and also with very classical drawing skills...

Lew said...

It wasn't just the animation that was great, the storyline was truly sweet. I especially enjoyed the part with Mama walking past the glitterati tourists and ignoring them taking pictures of her.

JonJacob said...

Thanks for introducing me to a cool artist I wouldn't have heard of otherwise. Great stuff!! Reminds me of some kind of modern Merven Peake or Edward Gorey type thing. Great work.

I love the grotesque in art.

pappy d said...

I love the Sol Steinberg influence in that scene.

James Dalby said...

He didn't do that Kia-Ora commercial per chance, did he?

CJ said...

I loved that music video.

My mom always scoffs at my endearment towards things like Gollywoggs and seemingly "blacky" characters. But I like them because they have character, and I do know some black people that look like this and those Gollywoggs! Sure it's not all black people, but they're legit designs as long as they fit what's needed to be portrayed.

Anyways, I kind of got a bit of "blacky" out of the video, but not the racist kind. Just good ol' fun!

I kind of dislike how black characters in today's animations are watered down in terms of being only one or two shades of brown, and not other colors like off-white (my mom who's black) and charcoal, (my dad).

Raff said...

Cleaner copy of Seaside:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iYdEZuCgvw

Albert said...

Very nice! Also, I think you should get into studying up on more european animation, John. Never know what you might find:

List_of_animated_feature-length_films

And I know of a few sites stocked to the brim with many european animated shorts. Some in russian... Say, you never seem to mention any russian animation, john, even though it has became very popular a subject to most western viewers. Ah, here's a site:

http://mults.spb.ru/mults/

Eh, well, there's a bunch of shorts on that site... But take your time, see if you spot any shorts you like.

Herman G said...

catchy music vid

Herman G said...

catchy music vid, great work

JoJo said...

Did you see this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LvLn9PWln8&NR=1

It might be him too. There's some fun animation. What do you think of it?

thistler said...

Aaah. I've got that cartoon on VHS. It was on a Rupert the Bear video. Rupert the bear: Frog Song, I think. It also had a song called oriental night-fish which we'd pause to see "rude bits"

MARCELO GUERRA caricaturista said...

Hi John,
OSCAR GRILLO is a Great artist !!!
You should have to see the art of SEBASTIAN DUFOUR ( Grillo admires him a lot ):
www.sebastiandufour.com.ar
www.sebastiandufour.blogspot.com

Did you receive the covers of argentinian old magazines ( Patotuzu and Rico Tipo) that I´ve sent you scanned 10 days ago?