Monday, April 03, 2006

Daniel Melgarejo

There are SO MANY things I can say about Daniel that I prefer not to say too much for fear of transforming this posting into an art critic's essay..Daniel would have hated it.
Daniel Melgarejo was a genius. I met him in our native Buenos Aires when he was twelve years old and I was a budding animator, we saw each other in Europe and I used to visit him in New York, where he died very young. Ours was a life time friendship. He was one of the most talented people I ever met. He could draw with both hands and often enough two different drawings at the same time. Everybody loved him and he made friends with people such as Marguerite Duras, Paloma Picasso, etc...Oh, God!!...There are a million stories I can tell about Daniel. His drawings are more eloquent than my words. I'll post some more soon.


Blogger Elliot said...

from the other side of the world it is often hard to offer useful feedback.
It is hard to ignore the inspiration you bring to us postumously and otherwise.
I am terribly drunk as I type this, so I hope the sentiment remains.
Much love, as always,

2:40 pm  
Blogger Oscar Grillo said...

Drive with care, you, old skunk.

3:15 pm  
Blogger A. Riabovitchev said...

Yes, if you wrote nothing about this artist, I equally would write , that he is very talented!

Eliot what happens? Why you are drunk on Monday?

7:26 pm  
Blogger Taranta said...

Que capo Oscar. gracias.

2:45 pm  
Blogger Matt J said...

Looks like Daniel could draw anything in any style. The dancers at the top are exquisite.

5:13 pm  
Blogger manucha said...

Thank you Oscar, for sharing such beautiful pieces from Daniel Melgarejo. I'd like to share that I've never seen a drawing of a child watching a couple dance, ever in my life. It's a behavior I've seen often in my life at many celebrations when observing children. Their big eyes show mesmorized expressions in watching couples dance. I remember quite vividly doing the same, for I love to see my parents dance together, for they connected so beautifully at that level of communication. Thank you for sharing such beauty that brought meloncholy to my heart.

5:40 pm  
Blogger Oscar Grillo said...

Dearest Manucha. This picture, a drawing on a back of a letter he sent me, is hanging in a wall at home. I perceive a touch of oedipus complex here...For whatever is worth: Daniel was a gay man and one of the earliest victims of AIDS.

7:22 pm  
Blogger manucha said...

Though I'm writing Oscar, I am actually speechless, for my heart is moved by the sensibility you share about your dear friend. Again, it's beautiful to be touched to some extent by other people’s lives and views.

I actually found the flamenco dancing sketches very funny. I imagined seeing it flow in my head, as if it were playing in the Film Loop Player with music, as a dancing comical sketch. There is lots of life in that strip of sketches.

Gracias por compartir :)

1:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

touching posting

4:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear O
I was a friend and fan of Daniel back in bue and nyc/ just saw the title sequence to "who's that girl" and broght back too many good memories. then gooleed and found this. THANK YOU
PS: do you have a way to find Patricio Bisso?

8:35 pm  
Anonymous bruno said...

daniel ...god i miss the guy! last time i saw him , was spring in new york and we had dinner at mr chows an later went around to clubs and all i can think is of that flash of a smile and the glamour we found in ourselves and i treasure the dysney cells he gave me , and as dawn broke off we went ... por la vereda tropical , la noche llena de quietud ...golden days. .. they allowyou to go...

2:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with Daniel in NY at the Disney studios. He was a mentor to all of us there and spoke very highly of you and shared many of your works with us. He also taught me how to enjoy life, the greatest work of art.
Juan Ortiz

11:42 am  
Blogger Oscar Grillo said...

Nice to hear from you, Juan...Daniel was an Angel on earth...A real angel, I mean; With vices and virtues.

2:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Bill Janocha, a cartoonist and assistant artist to Mort Walker, on his BEETLE BAILEY, since April 1987. I met Damiel when I first hit New York in Jan. 1982, only months out of college. He was a fellow artisit at Walt Disney Productions Character Merchandising. He quickly became a mentor and friend, and my critic, telling me to draw MORE and MORE! He was a truly generous and talented soul who lived life as fully as he could, until it consumed him. I remember his memorial very well, and thankfully have a few of his rough drawings as precious keepsakes. I wish to always see more of his work, so please update me on any, and if anyone feels confident enough to create and publish some sort of BOOK of his art, you will help inspire generations to come! Bill Janocha Stamford, CT USA

9:35 pm  
Anonymous Neil Martinson said...

It's really nice to see all this here. I made friends with Daniel at Broadcast Arts around 1986 and we became very close friends during his last few years. We used to hang around with Richard McGuire a lot, and the 3 of us noticed that we were about 10 years apart, me the youngest and Daniel the oldest, Richard in between.

He hired me to be his assistant on the "Who's That Girl" job and inserted a caricature of me as one of the guys who watches her saunter by (I think I'm wearing a t-shirt with a Mickey Rat type character on it).

Daniel was one of the loveliest men I ever knew, and taught me more about art than anyone else. Once I was trying to draw a large empty room with one desk in it, and he said "Fill the room with desks. A room full of desks is emptier than a room with one desk." Brilliant!

I never met anyone with such a facile talent! I would say to him, "Draw Minnie Mouse blowing Donald Trump at a bar!" And he would do the best drawing ever in 45 seconds!

I turned him onto Captain Beefheart's music, and he said, "I love it because my parents would hate it!"

I remember he couldn't stand Vaughn Bode's art. He hated all the curved panel borders, and referred to it as "Horrible Hollywood type comics."

He confessed to being terribly jealous of Mariscal and said he got drunk at a Mariscal opening and peed in a plant.

He once got into an argument with a co-worker about Disney vs Fleischer. Of course he was in favor of Disney, and he said, "I prefer Disney because it gives me a hard-on." Later, he told the guy (a heterosexual and a good friend who will remain nameless): "Every time you open your mouth, I get a hard-on!" Everybody laughed.

He was so generous with everything, often sacrificing opportunities to hobnob with bigwigs just to go hang out with less prestigious friends. He was truly a saintly figure, and inspired me in many ways.

He once told me (referring to the clone look), "Being gay is the ultimate in narcissism. It's like I am constantly fucking myself!"

I often begged him to wear a condom when he went out cruising, and he would say, "Okay, Neil, tonight I will wear a condom for you!"

When he was sick in the hospital and refusing visitors, I called and what sounded like a little old Spanish lady answered the phone. I cannot remember what was spoken, but after I hung up I had the distinct impression that it was Daniel. I heard later that he had dementia toward the end.

When he told me he had AIDS, I was so sad, but tried to cheer him up. He said he really loved life and didn't want to leave the world.

I went to his memorial (in Westbeth?) but I was too choked up and had to leave.

I hope the above is not too depressing. I get very emotional when I think of Daniel. He is really someone who died much too young. But I am sure he will return. I just hope I will be there too!

I still have some drawings by him, including some exquisite corpses and other collaborations between us which I will try to post somewhere.

8:18 am  
Blogger Oscar Grillo said...

Maravilloso el mensaje que escribiste contando esa historia sobre Daniel, Anonimo. Es una pena que debes haberlo borrado pues aqui no esta, pero se te agradece la finura y la sensibilidad con que lo has hecho. Un abrazo.

12:09 pm  
Blogger isy said...

I'm one of those people who worked with Daniel at Broadcast Arts, and will never forget him - for his humor, and enthusiasm, and his honesty. I think he must have already known he was ill when we were working on "Who's That Girl". He would go out for lunch and return almost everyday for six weeks, with a beautiful cake for the crew. One day, it was a chocolate cake with gold flakes. He was just as generous with his talents, and tried to teach everyone he could. He said it was torture for him to work on a Madonna movie, because he didn't like the music. He was funny all the time - a complete mischief. He went to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, etc. I treasure the few drawings I have of his, drawn on little scraps (he hated to waste paper).

3:01 pm  
Anonymous Scott M. said...

I worked with Daniel on a 3 musketeers commercial.
I loved the guy, and was so impressed with his heart, and talent. I stepped in a big pile of dog poop on the way to his memorial...I knew it was is work, and looked up smiling, with a finger pointing to the sky. This moment was lost on those around me, who though I was being weird. I miss you Daniel!

3:44 am  

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