Jorge Arevalo in The New Yorker, and beyond

Jorge Arevalo Illustration of Audrey Tauto France

Audrey Tautou

I came upon Jorge Arevalo, well I nearly passed him by. If you read or have ever read The New Yorker then you will know that in amongst the endless words which you pretend you are swimming with but have long-since drowned, in amongst all these words are occasional pictures and photographs of which to serve as some relief from those words but are as often and quite rightly demanding our attention too. I must admit I usually but glance at them eager enough to keep up with those words but on this occasion I was distracted enough by an illustration to decide to explore its creator’s work further.

This particular issue was the October 22, 2012 one and the illustration in question was not even attached to a written piece but in the Goings On About Town which I usually rush through as not actually best placed to gad about New York what with being on the other side of the Atlantic and all. More particularly it was in the Movies Opening section illustrating ‘Nobody Walks‘.

Nobody Walks Jorge Arevaldo IllustrationWith the web an easy enough task to delve deeper and or wade wider and his own website  was quickly stumbled upon. It greets us with a photograph of the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and Dean Martin). Clicking on we see his illustrations. There is not much detail on his website and perhaps there does not need to be.

His site does detail his clients, the list is not that long but again perhaps it does not need to be including as it does in addition to the aforementioned New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone.

He has a number of books published of his portraits and illustrations too – I am not going to detail them as I have enough to gabble on about here. But if you like what you see here and want more of his work then there are links to his publications on his site too.

Juliette Binoche by Jorge Arevalo

Juliette Binoche

I’ve not included all the photos as what would be point of that when you can visit his site on his own terms and what-have-you, but instead a list of those not featured here who you may want to see illustrated in this fashion – Kate Moss with and without Pete Docherty, Chet Baker, Kate Hudson, Sasha Grey, Martin Scorsese, Lady Antebellum, James Franco, Kanye West, Jonas Brothers, Garrincha, Jane Reno, Jackie Kennedy, James Brolin, Elijah Wood, Chloe Sevigny, Pharrell Williams, Grace Coddington, Stacy Peralta and Alexander McQueen. A lot. Or enough.

Meryl Streep by Jorge Arevalo

Meryl Streep

Miles Davis by Jorge Arevalo

Miles Davis

The ones I have included I have kept my responses, bubbles of thought to a minimum  –  as I’m not you and you’re not obviously me therefore and it follows you will respond in your own unique way so I don’t think you are much interested in my view overmuch. We are all narcissists together on the world wide web after all. But anyway bravely, foolishly I include a few of my thoughts in words however invisible they may be to you between Arevalo’s portraiture.

Amy Winehouse by Jorge Arevalo

Amy Winehouse

Disgracefully I have never written about Amy Winehouse – her music, her voice, her life – what’s that about (?) but then I read your blogs dear subbers and you’ve not written about her either – what really is up with that?

I like the unfussy statement of Arevalo’s portraits. A kind of a doodle but super-charged in full colours.

Mad Men by Jorge Arevalo

Mad Men – y’know those Ad Men

Mad Men by Jorge Arevalo
More mad men…

Mad Men by Jorge Arevaldo
Mad Women…

His time frame stretches from Dean Martin to Miley Cyrus, the young at heart Dean to the old head on young shoulders Miley …

This picture of the Olsen Twins captures their innate spookiness well I feel.

The Olsen Twins by Jorge Arevalo

The Olsen Twins

The next of the singular time-defying Grace Jones and it looks like she is singing I’ve Seen that Face before!?!

Grace Jones by Jorge Arevalo

Grace Jones

Some of his illustrations are a bit more busy but no less bold.

The Black-Eyed Peas by Jorge Arevalo

The Black Eyed Peas

Charlotte Casiraghi by Jorge Arevalo
Charlotte Casiraghi, some minor European Royal

So if this has wetted your appetite, piqued your curiosity, stirred wonder in your hearts…you know what to do.

11 thoughts on “Jorge Arevalo in The New Yorker, and beyond

  1. Pingback: Pablo Lobato – picturing celebrity | Blog Rest and Play

  2. Pingback: Séverin Millet in The New Yorker, and beyond | Blog Rest and Play

  3. I love this piece on Jorge Arevelo, Sam. I’ve never seen his work before now, and your thoughts on his style strike such a nice tone. I think Arevelo has a similar touch as Al Hirschfeld. Hirschfeld could translate the essence of a famous person with seemingly simple gestural lines.

    As for Winehouse, I cringed as you questioned yourself as to why you hadn’t written about her yet. When no one I knew had heard of her, I rushed out to a small local record store and grabbed up the album the very day it was released in the U.S.

    Watching Winehouse fade so fast broke my heart. I wondered at the time if this is what it was like to be a Billie Holiday fan during her heyday— knowing her time could be short, and that you had to pay attention to everything she did before she was gone.

    Thanks for writing this story, Sam. There’s a lot to you, and a lot to the stories you tell— I am your grateful reader.


    • Aw shucks Courtenay!

      And Al Hirshfeld is new to me – perhaps I have seen some of his work before but not connected back to him. There is a good website Al where I’m going to spend more time looking through his work. I can see the comparison to Arevalo.

      Billie Holiday is a kindred spirit with Amy Winehouse – Amy was incandescent bright brief, vulnerable but I still could not believe it the day it was announced she had died…


  4. This was totally enjoyable – I loved it. No. 1 I listened to Grace Jones when I was teen. I found her so powerfully a woman, she was awesome to me.

    Next, do you really think we are all narcissists on the www? I’m not so sure, you know, we are simply publishing ourselves, which any writer/thinker does – not for love of ourselves but with will to evoke thought, consideration, muse… and response.

    And no, I haven’t written about Amy, in fact think only The Heretic has had a post on her from my recall. What is up with that, for me, is that she was talented & wonderful yes, but alcoholic. And an alcoholic whether they are the mother of a family, a gambling father, an aching adolescent – we each and all can end ‘that way’ and we know it. So what’s up with that with me is that she is just another alcoholic who let it kill her. I am struggling, myself, but my aim remains to not be homeless and on a pension when Daniel leaves home, or in short, to beat this self destruction and live.

    The pictures – they are wonderful, all. I have read The New Yorker and YES I DROWNED IN THE WORDS. OK! I’ve said it! You allowed me to be honest with that one – thank you!! 🙂


    • Well I certainly don’t think you’re a narcissist Noeleen! But I do feel for a lot of people the web is an opportunity to go into an echo chamber and bubble themselves up with their favourite person, themselves!

      Perhaps I will post about it or better yet tell a tale about it.

      I have this idea for a story where one of the main characters becomes disillusioned with the narrative the author is giving him and yearns to escape the page. I bet someone’s already pinched my idea though!

      There is a danger with Amy Winehouse that her story will be trivialised and sensationalised even by writers that love her. Perhaps they should do a film called 27 or The 27 Club – as there is a grim roll-call of rock-stars/singers who did not make it to 28.

      Arevalo’s pictures really pop don’t they.


      • Sam, you say a grim roll call. THAT, I think, would make a great post. As in, I did see an article referring to Amy & the 27 Club, but they didn’t expand. I think they mentioned James Dean (as he’s so huge – but I don’t know; don’t know his age on death) – they mentioned a couple, but not a roll call.

        To me, that would be an interesting post.

        Me MYSELF & I – we all applaud you lovingly, for not calling us a narcissist.
        Me – Yay!
        Myself – 3 cheers for Sam!
        I – Hee hee hee.


        • Among that grim roll-call are Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin – all the J’s! Kurt Cobain too

          When I was a teen there was a song called ’19 and Mad’ by a London group the Leyton Buzzards. Chorus was ‘I am 19 out of my head, I am 19 getting on for dead, I am 19 don’t know what to do, I won’t reach 20 and I don’t want to’!

          Twenty seemed so distant and old then!!!


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