Thursday, 27 November 2014

Miguel Tanco, Caperucita Roja

Fig 1(above): Miguel Tanco, Caperucita Roja 2009

Miguel Tanco shares some of his thoughts, decisions and working methods used when approaching this classic tale for Edelvives in 2009. Caperucita Roja written by Pepe Maestro, illustrated by Miguel Tanco was part of an interesting collection, written and illustrated reinterpretations of children's classics.

"I guess the first thing we do when we were commissioned a classic is to see the different versions that have been made, especially the most original and daring. There will be hundreds, thousands of versions in different countries, including the vision of Gustave Doré, Kveta Pakovska, Nicoletta Ceccoli or Annalaura Cantone, and the very remarkable conceptual work with pictograms by Honegger-Lavater Warja."

The best way to start is that proposed by Maurice Sendak:
"An illustrator in my own mind — and this is not a truth of any kind — is someone who so falls in love with writing that he wishes he had written it, and the closest he can get to is illustrating it. And the next thing you learn, you have to find something unique in this book, which perhaps even the author was not entirely aware of. And that’s what you hold on to, and that’s what you add to the pictures: a whole 'Other Story' that you believe in, that you think is there." Maurice Sendak
Fig 2 (above): Miguel Tanco, Caperucita Roja 2009

"There's something that disturbed me in caperucita. I guess that by now everyone knows that riding hood is a history of oral tradition and then told-changed by Perrault and later Grimm. At first it was a story to warn teenagers of the trickery of men, hence the archetype of the black wolf to symbolize the adult male wild, evil in the world, perhaps a touch of racism the black man.
I explored the stereotypes of good and evil, and above all, the colors assigned to the characters. I heeded the advice of M. Sendak and decided from there that the wolf would not be black, it would be white and caperucita would perhaps African black carnation.
Talking to the publishing company the thinking was that it was best to develop the character as a gypsy. More close to us,  a part of our culture.
This opened a new door and gave the story a twist." 

Fig 3 (above): Miguel Tanco, Caperucita Roja 2009

"The characters would all be gypsies with their wagons, brightly colored traditional dresses and ornaments. It would also be a paradox that have no fixed home and are nomads, a roaming characteristic that is usually the wolfs.
Before I started the drawings, I looked for information on the Roma people, I read about racism and persecution, I explored their history.
As a ritual I keep a plastic folder which I label with the name of the book, to which I add any material remotely related, the history, photos, ads, pieces of colored paper, fabrics . . ."  Miguel Tanco
                         Fig 4 (above): Miguel Tanco, Caperucita Roja 2009


Fig 1,2,3,4:

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