1904 (Mexico City, Mexico)
New York / Mexico
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book and magazine illustration, caricatures, and mural painting
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|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Mexican born Miguel Covarrubias was known for his painted murals,
caricatures, illustrations and scholarly writings. He was born in
the Bohemian section of Mexico City on November 22, 1904. The son
of a civil engineer, Covarrubias dropped out of high school at the age
of fourteen. He went to work for his father drawing maps and
eventually became a self-taught artist. |
He moved to New York
City in 1923, and soon after he gained recognition as an illustrator,
stage designer and caricature artist. He illustrated issues of Vogue, the New Yorker and was known for his Art Deco covers of Vanity Fair.
During the 1920s he studied in Paris, France and later traveled to Bali
with his wife Rose Rolanda. He became a well-known name in the
art circle and social scene in New York and was a good friend of
Mexican painter Diego Rivera.
Covarrubias returned to Bali in
1933 on a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation. He spent more than a
year researching Bali and the Balinese culture in order to write his
acclaimed book, Island of Bali (1937). He created
detailed drawings and aquarelles for the book in a soft pastels and
bold pinks and reds. He used curvaceous lines and was a master of
color technique using gouache opaque watercolor.
six murals for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San
Francisco in 1939. The murals were detailed maps of the Pacific
and the people and culture associated with that region. It is
evident from their detail, the depictions of the inhabitants, flora and
fauna of the Pacific countries, that much research went into the
painting of the murals. Over his career Covarrubias has made a
great contribution to art through his drawings and writings, educating
people about Mexican and Pacific Rim culture and art.
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