Biography: Ernesto Garcia Cabral (aka “Chango”)

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Birth/Death
1890 Huatusco , Veracruz , Mexico
1968 Toluca , Mexico

Occupation/Title
Political Cartoonist, Poster Illustrator

Bio Summary
The Mexican Artist: Ernesto Garcia Cabral was nicknamed “El Chango”, which means “The Monkey” in Spanish. He was a talented Cartoonist and Poster Illustrator who became famous in Mexico during the 1940s and 50s, but was not well known for his work in the United States. His work was primarily done for Advertisement on Mexican Film Comedies. He was also greatly recognized for his unique comic art and political cartoons.

Early Life/Family
Ernesto Cabral, was the son of Vicente Garci’a and Aurelia Cabral. Ever Since Ernesto was a young child; he loved art and admired the great illustrators and artists of the time. He kept a scrapbook that included printed material about illustrators and caricaturists Arias Bernal, Paolo Garretto, Norman Rockwell. He later added clippings of his own caricatures to this scrapbook. Ernesto came from a Cape Verdian culture, and lived in a transplanted Cape Verde . This was a place that included Goats, chickens, ducks, geese and pigs, and all sort of garden vegetables. It was located in the country side, and he would take the trolley into the city. His father worked as a longshoreman, while his mother was the one taking care of the house and family.

Education/Training

  • Studied at San Carlos Art Academy in Mexico (1907)
  • Studied art in Paris just before WWI, and became well known there as a cartoonist (1910)

Career Outline
Cabral returned to Mexico in 1918 where he established himself as a top caricaturist and illustrator. His work often appeared on the covers of magazines such as the weekly “Revista de Revistas”. Much of his poster work was done during 1936-1956, which was considered the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. During this time he drew a number of Mexican lobby Cards, which may have been what Cabral was remembered for the most. These were the similar movie posters, but smaller. They were about 11 x 14 and depicted a scene from the film.
Cabral also painted murals, one of which can be found in Toluca , Mexico.

Comments On Style
Cabral used bold colors and dynamic designs, which he combined with cartoony caricature. His caricature was much different then most other artwork at the time, and drew audiences into theaters to see films by Mexican comedians like Cantinflas, Tin Tan and Resortes.

Influences
Arias Bernal, Paolo Garretto, Norman Rockwell

Personality
Ernesto has always been a determined artist ever since he was young, and knew how to enjoy life, and loved to spend time with his parents and brother.

Anecdotes
Cabral was a great artist recognized in Mexico , and France . In the United States he has not become well known by many, and said to be, “The Greatest Cartoonist You’ve Never Heard Of”.

Miscellaneous

Filmography
Mexican Cinema Lobby Cards:

  • Las Interesadas(1952) (Illustrator)
  • Las Locuras de Tin-Tan (1953) (Illustrator)
  • Rumba Caliente (1952) (Illustrator)
  • Tres Viudas Alegres (1953) (Illustrator)
  • Que Lindo Cha Cha Cha (1955) (Illustrator
  • Soy un golfo (1955) (Illustrator)
  • Resortes Cadena de Mentiras (1955) (Illustrator)
  • El Campeon Ciclista (1956) (Illustrator)
  • Resortes hora media de balazos (1957) (Illustrator)
  • Las Carinosas (1958) (Illustrator)

Political Line Drawings:

  • Tipos Que Desaparecen (1912) (Illustrator)
  • Semidiosa Por Rafael Diaz De Leon (1914) (Illustrator)
  • El Pamoso Pintor Nacho Rosas (1915) (Illustrator)
  • Un Poeta (1915) (Illustrator)
  • Lo Que Se Vende En Los Puestos (1917) (Illustrator)
  • Le Semanadio Nacional (1919) (Illustrator)

Honors

  • Cabral was 17 when he first won a scholarship to the San Carlos Art Academy
  • By 1910 he was drawing for popular publications and two years later received a grant to study art in Paris .

    Related Links

    Rogelio Agrasanchez Jr., Collecting Mexican Film Posters . Mexican Horror Cinema, www.Santostreet.com/subpages/postercollect.htm

    Bibliographic References

    Barrow, Randy, ImpactGraphicsPosters, August 7, 2004
    www.impactgraphicsposters.com/cabral.htm

    Anonymous Writer, IMDb message board, Internet Movie Database Inc.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0305573/

    Anonymus Writer, Movie memorabilia, Wikipedia.org
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movie_memorabilia

    Fernandez , Rosa M, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
    http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/findingaids/lamaabri.htm

    Cabral, Ernesto, Two Worlds, Cape Verde Home Page
    http://www.umassd.edu/specialPrograms/caboverde/foxpoint/twoworlds.html

    Contributors To This Listing
    Rosa M. Fernandez – Smithsonian Archives of American Art: Reference Department

    To make additions or corrections to this listing, please click on COMMENTS below…

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