Jorge Blanco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the President of the Dominican Republic, see Salvador Jorge Blanco.
Jorge Blanco
Born March 21, 1945
Caracas, Venezuela

Jorge Blanco (born March 21, 1945 in Caracas) is a Venezuelan-born American artist, who emigrated to the United States in 1999. He has spent his professional career working as a sculptor,[1] graphic designer and illustrator. His work is in public sites in the United States, South America and Japan. Jorge Blanco (b. 1945) is an international artist who has created a distinctive sculptural language over more than thirty years. His expressions on positive lifestyle are invitations to value its simplicity. Blanco has placed 25 public art sculptures in large format across the globe. In addition to public art, Blanco continues his life trajectory with collectible sculptures, his illustrious comic strip “The Castaway,” and furniture design. Blanco’s technical mastery and flowing geometry has gained him international recognition. His artworks form part of sales in renown auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. In 1971 Blanco graduated as an industrial designer from the prestigious Neumann Institute of Design in Caracas, Venezuela. Under the mentorship of European artists living as expatriates in Caracas, Blanco learned to integrate industrial design with creative processes. His instructors were predominantly artists, such as Gego and Cornelis Zitman, who emphasized artistry in their classrooms. Blanco graduated with a degree in industrial design upon the completion of his first furniture line for children, a thesis project that foregrounded much of his future artwork. Immediately after graduation Blanco began his career as a sculptor, freelance graphic designer and furniture designer. In the late 70s he studied at Rome’s Academy of Fine Arts, where his geometric minimalism and interest in expressive and yet delicate lines was further enriched. During his stay in Europe Blanco also uncovered the world of cartoonists. This discovery led Blanco to create the most iconic comic strip in Venezuela’s history, “The Castaway.” In 1980 “The Castaway” made its debut in El Diario de Caracas. The strip’s main character, Castaway, rapidly became a beloved hallmark. Castaway was widely disseminated across the city; it enhanced the city’s metro system even. Eight books have been published on Blanco’s “The Castaway.” For over thirty years, these black and white vignettes have humored viewers, inviting them to contemplate nature and liberty. Through scenes that celebrate philosophical whimsy and human imagination, Blanco narrates heartfelt stories. As “The Castaway” continued to live its success, Blanco illustrated more than twenty storybooks for children and countless educational books. His accomplishments as illustrator led him to El Museo de los Niños, where he served as Creative Director for twenty years. During Blanco’s directorship at the Museum, his sculptural work evolved from darker expressions on political ideologies and existentialist absurdity into bright and energetic dialogs supporting newfound values. Love, music, dance, sports and humor motivate Blanco’s widely known oeuvre. Throughout his career Blanco has designed purposefully. He seeks to engage his audience without requiring intellectual explanations to be understood. Combining geometric precision and figuration, he communicates effectively and immediately. Like the work of his primary influences, Klee, Miró, Herbin and Calder, Blanco’s presents his sculptures in primary colors. Purity of color and form tune the vibrancy of his compositions and resolve his sculptures with a personal kind of sophisticated simplicity. Blanco's largest body of work has been created and fabricated in the United States, where he lives and works since 1999. His esteemed artwork forms part of private collections all over the world and has received multiple accolades.


Blanco began drawing and painting in 1967 and sculpting in the early 1970s, although he was interested in art from an early age. He received his formal training at the Neumann Institute in Caracas, Venezuela, which he attended with the aid of a scholarship. He graduated in 1971 with a degree in Industrial Design, after which he worked as a graphic designer. From 1975 to 1979, he lived in Rome, Italy, where he attended open classes at the Academy of Fine Arts.


Blanco's first solo exhibition was in 1974, where he showed sculpture and drawings. A year later, he moved to Rome, Italy, where he continued to work in sculpture while making a living by doing freelance graphic design drawing cartoons for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including political cartoons for the newspaper L'Opinione.[2] It was during this period that he first conceived the idea of a comic strip.

In 1978, Blanco participated in the Bordhigera Humor Salon, winning the Dattero D'Argento, and in the Monterotondo Sculpture Salon, where he was awarded the first prize for medium format sculpture.

In 1979, Blanco returned to Caracas, Venezuela where he exhibited his sculptures and drawings at the Sofía Imber Museum of Contemporary Art. Here, he continued working in sculpture but he also designed and illustrated a children's newspaper El Cohete.

In 1980, he was hired as the Art Director for the Caracas Children's Museum (Art, Science and Technology, Museo de los Niños) [3] (1980–1998). He worked there for 18 years.

That same year, Blanco created the comic strip The Castaway/El Náufrago, which became an overnight success. It was published in major newspapers and magazines in Venezuela and lead to significant sales in merchandising and books. The Castaway even crossed over to television. Due to the comic's success, Blanco no longer had time to work on his sculpture alongside his work as freelance graphic designer, illustrator, and his job at the museum, and reluctantly had to put sculpture aside.

In 1989, Blanco returned to sculpture, and eventually left the Caracas Children's Museum to move to the United States, where he still lives today. Whereas his earlier work focused on more unconventional materials, his work now had a different approach, focused more on metals and bright colors. Blanco began exhibiting again in both Venezuela and the United States as well as around the world. In 1996, Blanco installed four sculptures in Tokyo, Japan, which launched his fascination with public art.

Since 1999, Blanco has lived and worked on the West Coast of Florida, with a particular focus on public art. In 2005, Blanco became an American citizen. He currently resides in Sarasota, Florida.[4]

In 2007, Blanco received the John Ringling Visual Art Award.

The Castaway (El Naufrago)[edit]

The Castaway is a comic strip created by Blanco in 1980 about a man trapped on an island that was originally printed in the newspaper El Diario de Caracas. The strip was wildly popular, and images from it have graced the covers of notebooks, phone cards, and T-shirts.[5] "The Castaway" was also published in the United States in The Observer a Sarasota-based weekly newspaper.


Blanco's early works were influenced by his teachers Gertrude Goldschmidt (Gego) and Cornelis Zitman and by the work of artists such as Auguste Herbin, Paul Klee and Joan Miró. At this time, he worked with unconventional materials such as Lycra, rope, wood, mirrors, and bronze. Blanco's sculptures were and continue to be geometric studies, interpretations of his internal world. In 1992, Blanco began to explore color and metal as a primary material.[6]

Public art[edit]


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2014/15 “The Joy of Living” O. Ascanio Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2012 “Art Nocturne” Sculpture. Knokke-Heist, Belgium
  • 2010 “De Punta en Blanco” Sculpture. Espacio Tierra Negra Gallery. José Ignacio, Uruguay
  • 2009 “New Sculptures” One-man exhibition. HW Gallery. Naples, Florida, USA
  • 1997 “Metálicas de Vida Alegre” Sculptures & Serigraphs. Icono Gallery. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1995 “Humor de Acero” Sculptures. Centro de Arte Euroamericano. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1992 “Caras y una Patilla” Sculpture. Galería Oscar Ascanio. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1979 “Esculturas y Dibujos” Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1978 “Scultura e Disegni” Istituto Italo-Latino Americano. Roma, Italia
  • 1976 “Disegni” Paesi Nuovi Gallery. Roma, Italia
  • 1974 “30 Dibujos” Galería Banap. Caracas, Venezuela

Selected group exhibitions[edit]

  • 2015 “Contemporary Expressions & Recent Sculptures by Jorge Blanco” O. Ascanio Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2015 “The Lightness of Being: Abstracts: Part I” Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • 2015 “Fluid Formalism: Concepts in Motion” O. Ascanio Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2014 “Pinta Art Fair” O. Ascanio Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2014 "Made in Sarasota", Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • 2013 "Movement Through Colors", O. Ascanio Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2013 “Black, White & Red” A New Leaf Gallery/Sculpturesite, Sonoma, California, USA
  • 2012 “Aesthetic Perfection” O. Ascanio Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2012 “Scope Miami” Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2012 “Small-format Sculpture” Galerie Artelie. Paris, France
  • 2012 “Sculpture” Cafmeyer Gallery. Knokke-Heist, Belgium
  • 2012 “Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition” Polk Museum of Art + City of Winter Haven. Winter Haven, Florida, USA
  • 2011 “Burst Art Fair” Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2011 “Public Art Exhibition” Coastal Discovery Museum. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA
  • 2010 “WOW 3” Large-scale Sculpture Exhibition. Fort Pierce, Florida, USA
  • 2008 “Cedarhurst Biennale” Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. Mt. Vernon, Illinois, USA
  • 2008 “Third Beijing International Art Biennale” National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
  • 2008 “WOW 2” Large-scale Sculpture Exhibition. Fort Pierce, Florida, USA
  • 2008 “Where the Wild Things (still) are” The Art Gallery at Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, Florida
  • 2007 “Sarasota Season of Sculpture 4” Large-scale exhibition. Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • 2007 “Sculpture in the Plaza” Sculpturesite Gallery. San Francisco, California, USA
  • 2006 “Figuratively Speaking Exhibition” Large-scale sculpture. Stamford, Connecticut, USA
  • 2006 “Primary Colors” Sculpturesite Gallery. San Francisco, California, USA
  • 2006 “Sarasota Season of Sculpture Exhibition.” Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • 2005 “Grand Opening Exhibition” Sculpturesite Gallery. San Francisco, California, USA
  • 2005“New Works” A New Leaf Gallery-Sculpture Site. Berkeley, California, USA
  • 2004 “Sculpture” Fenn Gallery. Woodbury, Connecticut, USA
  • 2004 “Sculpture” A New Leaf Gallery. Berkeley, California, USA
  • 2004 “ArteAmericas” Miami, Florida, USA
  • 2004 “Sculpture” Longboat Key Center for the Arts. Longboat Key, Florida, USA
  • 2004 “Urban Trees” Port of San Diego. California, USA
  • 2004 “Sarasota Season of Sculpture” Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • 2003 “Hispanic Artists” City of Aventura Government Building. Aventura, Florida, USA
  • 2003 “Sculpture” Katherine Butler Gallery. Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • 2001 “Pier Walk Exhibition” Navy Pier. Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • 1999 “Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Contemporanea” Firenze, Italia
  • 1998 “Fundraising Gala” John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • 1998 “Sculpture” Galleria Silecchia. Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • 1997 “Una Tonelada de Arte” Sculpture. Miami Beach, Florida, USA
  • 1997 “Sculpture,” Virginia Miller Gallery. Coral Gables, Florida, USA
  • 1996 “Esculturas” Galería Ardentía. Porlamar, Venezuela
  • 1993 “Coca-Cola, 50 años con el Arte” Galería Oscar Ascanio. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1993 “Primer Festival de Esculturas” Centro Cultural Consolidado. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1987 “Primer Festival de Arte Venezolano” Galería Oscar Ascanio. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1981 “Primera Bienal de Artes Visuales” Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1980 “Esculturas” Galería Terracota. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1979 “XVIII Premio Internacional de Dibujo Joan Miro” Barcelona, España
  • 1979 “Dibujos” Concejo Municipal del Distrito Federal. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1979 “XXXVII Salon Arturo Michelena” Ateneo de Valencia. Venezuela
  • 1979 “XVII Premio Salón Internacional de Dibujo Joan Miro” Barcelona, España
  • 1979 “Primer Salón de Dibujo Nuevo” Banco Central de Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1978 “III Salón Internacional de Escultura, Pintura y Gráfica” Torre D’Ansperto, Milano, Italia
  • 1977 “Mostra di Artisti Latinoamericani a Roma” Galleria San Marco, Roma, Italia
  • 1977 “XVI Premio Internacional de Dibujo Joan Miro” Barcelona, España
  • 1977 “Nuevas Proposiciones” Casa Bello. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1977 “Muestra de Dibujos” Sala de la Cultura. Diputación de Navarra, Pamplona, España
  • 1975 “XXXIII Salón Arturo Michelena” Ateneo de Valencia, Venezuela
  • 1975 “Primer Encuentro de Jóvenes Artistas” Casa de la Cultura. Maracay, Venezuela
  • 1975 “IV Salón Nacional de Jóvenes Artistas” INCIBA. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1975 “Plástica Jóven” Instituto Venezolano del Petróleo. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1975 “Primer Salón de Dibujo, Grabado y Diseño Gráfico”. Universidad de los Andes. Mérida, Venezuela
  • 1975 “II Salón Nacional de Escultura” Universidad de Carabobo. Valencia, Venezuela
  • 1975 “Varias Visiones” Galería G. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1974 “XXXII Salon Arturo Michelena” Ateneo de Valencia. Valencia, Venezuela
  • 1973 “III Salón Nacional de Jóvenes Artistas” INCIBA. Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1973“Primer Salón de Arte Centro Plaza” Caracas, Venezuela
  • 1971 “Gráfica Joven” Galería de Arte y Grabado. Caracas, Venezuela


  1. ^ "Sarasota Sculptures Coming Down". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. May 29, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ "L'Opinione, December 1978
  3. ^ Maravillosarealidad.Com
  4. ^ "Sculptures brighten Sarasota skyline". Bradenton Herald. November 11, 2007. Retrieved September 7, 2010. 
  5. ^ "El Náufrago" de Jorge Blanco, Libro 1, Prologo de Pedro Leon Zapata
  6. ^ "Jorge Blanco" (PDF). Scene Magazine. Retrieved 22 December 2012.