April 25, 1973 |
Hermann Mejía (born 1973) is a Venezuelan-born, New York based visual artist. He is a painter and sculptor who has also forayed successfully into illustration living in Brooklyn. His illustrations have frequently appeared in MAD Magazine.
Hermann Mejía started drawing at a very young age. His explorations and his virtuoso drawing abilities took him to studying illustration and painting, and to the development of expression and character creation. His early influences on comics began with MAD Magazine, that had made their way to Venezuela from the United States in the early eighties. He was an avid fan, although he spoke no English at the time. He cites artists Sergio Aragonés (author of the wordless Groo the Wanderer strip) and Mort Drucker as favorites. He started collecting comics at age 13, and received his first artist's commission at 15, painting promotional graffiti for musical acts in Caracas. He studied at the Caracas Design Institute (Instituto de Diseño de Caracas). After graduating, he started his career in the fine arts with numerous exhibitions in his native Venezuela, both collective and solo. His arts career was always combined with forays into different media and segments in commercial art. Growing recognition as a vanguard artist landed him the commission to design a series of Venezuelan postage stamps commemorating Pope John Paul II in 1996.
Mejia has been named by The Huffington Post as "one of the 15 Venezuelan artists of all times you should know."
He is a prolific artist with a long career of solo and collective exhibitions of both paintings and sculptures, mostly in South America but also in the U.S. His style and technique have been linked to many influences including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, the surrealists, and even Street art. In addition to his artistic career, he has successfully ventured into comic art and commercial art.
Upon having won the first prize in a sequential art contest, Mejia was awarded a trip to New York City, where he met artist George Pratt, who had been one of the Judges of the contest. Pratt took Mejía to the offices of DC Comics, where Mejía was offered a job almost instantly. Through DC, Mejía met Charlie Kochman, Publishing Editor for both DC and MAD Magazine (which was by then a publication of DC Comics), and received a first assignment for the April 1997 issue.
Mejía continued working for the New York-based Mad Magazine while still living in Venezuela during the next two years. In 1999 Mejía moved to the United States. He received a "Best in Magazine Feature" Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society in 2003.
Nowadays, Mejia continues working unremittingly along two lines on both his fine art production, as well as on his commercial illustration projects, from his studio in Gowanus, Brooklyn, New York.
Selected Art works
- Transmutación - 1988 - acrylic on illustration board 11" x 18"
- Bala-Huevo - 1989 - acrylic on illustration board 20" x 14"
- Polen - 1994 - acrylic on illustration board 20" x 14"
- Fruta, Mono y Sombras - 1998 etching - print on paper 15" x 14"
- Mono 2 - 2001 - acrylic on paper 53" x 68"
- El Chigüire - 2001 - acrylic on canvas 50" x 57"
- Amazonas - 2003 - acrylic on canvas 28" x 40"
- The Rubber Man (collaboration with Lucia Pizzani) - 2003 (installation) Dragon Skin silicone rubber, c-prints and rubber bands 69" x 16" x 0.8"
- Las FAN - 2004 - acrylic on canvas 60" x 40"
- Amazonas Loop - 2004 - Video (1 minute)
- Madera - 2009 - acrylic on canvas 35" x 45"
- Deer Hunt - 2012 - acrylic on canvas 56" x 118"
- Yellow - 2012 - watercolor / acrylic on paper 23" x 36"
- Hunter - 2012 - acrylic on canvas 83" x 60"
- Woman's Head - 2012 - acrylic on canvas 33" x 38"
- Frontier - 2012 - acrylic on canvas 38" x 33"
- Garden - 2012 - acrylic on canvas 42" x 40"
- Waiting Room - 2012 - acrylic on canvas 36" x 36"
- Suit 1 - 2012 - watercolor on paper 30" x 22"
- Suit 2 - 2012 - watercolor on paper 22" x 30"
- Cicada - 2012 - watercolor / silkscreen on paper 12" x 16"
- Entangled - 2013 - Acrylic on canvas, 48” x 72"
- AT-AT Walkers - 2013 - Watercolor 18.5" x 26.25" (for Gallery Nucleus – "A Saga in the Stars: A Tribute to a Galaxy Far, Far Away")
Selected commercial works (Illustrations)
- The Books of Magic Annual #1, cover only (1997, DC Comics)
- The Books of Faerie #1-3, covers only (Mar-May 1997, DC Comics)
- The Books of Magic #58, "Auberon Finds a Friend" (March 1998, DC Comics)
- The Books of Faerie: Auberon's Tale #1-3, covers only (Aug-Oct 1998, DC Comics)
- The Books of Faerie: Molly's Story #1-3 (Sept-Nov 1999, DC Comics)
- Lobo: Fragtastic Voyage
- MAD Magazine: Preview of the Walking-Dead-Satire
- Mejía's sculpted caricature work for Mad magazine include the "Iraq War Chess Set" in issue #473 (January 2007) and the O.J. Simpson "Heistman Trophy" in issue #497 (January 2009).
- Evanier, Mark (2002). Mad Art: A Visual Celebration of the Art of MAD Magazine and the Idiots who Create It. Watson-Guptill. pp. 257–260. ISBN 0-8230-3080-6.
- NCS Awards
- Irvine, Alex (2008). "The Books of Faerie". In Dougall, Alastair. The Vertigo Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 36–37. ISBN 0-7566-4122-5. OCLC 213309015.