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Of Pixels and Pastels: New Yorker artist Jorge Colombo's iPhone Art

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Pollux writes:

If you call Jorge Colombo, he may not pick up.

He’s busy using his phone for something other than talking, e-mailing, and finding directions. He’s creating artwork with his iPhone, whose Brushes feature is a sophisticated “mobile painting” application complete with color wheel, undo/redo functionality, and a selection of brushes.

This is powerful technology, and the Portuguese-born Colombo applies an artist’s sensibility to create immensely delicate and interesting iSketches that capture the city in a new medium. The iPhone has become one more tool in the artist’s kit. “I got a phone in the beginning of February, and I immediately got the program so I could entertain myself,” Colombo remarks.

But Colombo’s art isn’t gimmicky ephemera, and his art is not, thankfully, trapped on his phone. The June 1, 2009 New Yorker cover is in fact a Colombo iArtpiece. He is also selling 20×200 iPhone drawings at 20 × 200.

Colombo, born in Lisbon in 1963, is not a greenhorn graphic designer or emerging artist (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but an established illustrator, filmmaker, and photographer, who has worked as art director for various Chicago, San Francisco, and New York magazines. He has books under his belt, including the photographic novel ”Of Big and of Small Love” (”Do Grande e do Pequeno Amor”), a work of half-photography and half-fiction writing. iPhone’a Brushes app, then, is for him a new and useful tool rather than a replacement for camera or pen.

Paul Éluard once remarked that “the poet is not he who is inspired but he who inspires.” In the same way, Colombo is a poet who, no doubt, will inspire a new market for iPhone-generated art.

James Falconer reports on this story, and includes an image of Colombo’s cover.

The Knight Center covers Colombo’s new artwork.

Colombo’s isn’t the only one: the iPhone Art Flickr group.


I love, love, love this.
I don’t think too highly of the artwork itself; but the fact that he did this while waiting in line is awesome.

This just opened my eyes to the potential of phone apps.

What a great app. That alone is worth getting an iPhone.

I enjoyed reading your blog. I just read that Brits vote iPhone 8th greatest invention. I love my Iphone.

Thanks for reading Emdashes, Glenn! Have you used the Painting ap on your iPhone? 8th, huh? What was the #1 greatest invention? The printing press?

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2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree