Animator, Illustrator, Creator and Director, Oscar Grillo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1943. Having attended Art School at the age of 16, Oscar’s passionate journey began when working in animation where his career quickly broadened into publishing cartoons in satirical magazines, illustrating books and painting. Oscar Grillo has filled every moment of his life with searching and being a creator of art. From the unedited, through the unafraid, and on to the boldly challenging, Oscar’s work reflects the curiosity, draftsmanship and exploration of a master.
Meet the man, see his eclectic body of work, watch him create and be inspired with shear breadth and depth of his life in this one on one spotlight session “Without Formula: The life and Work of Oscar Grillo” at CTNx 2011.
His career began in the mid- ‘50s where he studied at the Panamerican Art School and by 1959 only a short time later his cartoons were already being published in the satirical magazine ‘Tia Vicenta’.
Oscar was first professionally employed as an assistant animator in 1960, working on ‘Popeye’ for the ‘Sir Wellington Bones Show’ for the US and has been working as a professional artist ever since. He was quickly promoted to animator where he then created commercials for Argentina and the US. Between 1960 and 1969 his career as animator began to broaden to that of cartoonist for magazines, illustrator of books and painter (five individual and six collective exhibitions) and in 1969 he moved to Spain, where he illustrated ‘Waiting for Godot’, ‘Man Without Attributes’ and ‘Les Chants de Maldoror’.
During 1970 Oscar lived in Italy and illustrated ‘I Malavoglia’ (1st Prize as Best Illustrated Book, Bratislava, Czech.) and ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and then in 1971 he reunited with his animation career. He travelled to the U.K. for a two-week stint, during which he directed several episodes of ‘The Jackson 5′ TV show for the US. He also designed and animated songs from the show and the initial two-week stay was gradually extended and has lasted over 30 years.
He went on to work on ‘Christmas Carol’, directed by Richard Williams (Oscar Winner 1972) and subsequently moved to Halas & Batchelor where he animated commercials for U.K. and Europe. With Dragon Productions, which he co-founded in 1973, he produced award-winning commercials, while illustrating and writing children’s books (two of them published by Gakken in Japan).
In 1974 he collaborated as animator in ‘Lautrec’ directed by Geoff Dunbar (1st prize Cannes Best Short Film) and in 1975 worked on design and layout for ‘Great’ dir. Bob Godfrey (an Oscar Winner 1976).
In 1979 he directed, designed and animated ‘Seaside Woman’ with Linda McCartney’s Music (1st Prize Cannes Best Short Film 1980; 2nd Prize Zagreb Best Short Animated Film 1980; nominated for BAFTA award 1980).
And in 1980 Oscar created Klactoveesedstene Animations together with Ted Rockley where together they have produced hundreds of award winning commercials for UK, Europe, U.S.A., Australia and Japan. Oscar continued to illustrate for various mediums, most regularly for The New Yorker magazine and exhibit paintings annually either in London (The Cartoon Gallery) or in Paris and, in 1983 he illustrated “The World is Round” and “The Private Diaries of Rembrandt”.
Other projects have included: ‘Work in Progress’ a film about Rembrandt for the BBC (completion 1992), ‘War Stories’ for BBC (on 10th anniversary of the Falkland’s War – completion 1992). September 1995 saw the completion of a 10 part series for the BBC “How to be a little Sod”, written by Simon Brett, voice by Rik Mayall.
From September – October 1996 - Worked as Animation Supervisor for “Men in Black” at Industrial Light & Magic.
1997 – Directed, designed and animated ‘Wide Prairie’ with Linda McCartney’s Music.
1998 – Illustrated four poetry books (2 for Spain, 1 for England and 1 for Argentina) and directed, designed and animated ‘The Light Comes From Within’ a song from Linda McCartney’s album ‘Wide Prairie’.“Monsieur Pett”, a half hour animated featurette about a farting man, was completed in 1999 – 2000. While animating ‘Shadow Cycle’, a new twenty minute project for Paul McCartney inspired by a piece of music composed by the late Linda McCartney, designed and storyboarded a feature film for the USA.
2001 – Having completed ‘Shadow Cycle’, continued working on a variety of television commercials and started preliminary work on his short ‘Parker’s Mood’, based on music by Charlie Parker. His series of drawings “The Boop Sisters – Homage to Betty Boop”, was exhibited at the Annecy Animation Festival and subsequently in Rome and Madrid with the additional “The Day When…” about ficticious moments in animation history.
2003 – Exhibited, at the Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, his retrospective of 30 years of work abroad, titled “Dibujos Irresponsables”, to great critical acclaim.
2004/2005 – Worked in Estanislao del Campo’s “Fausto”, published by Ediciones de la Flor. Paints 6 murals for the metro station “Humberto Primo” in Buenos Aires dedicated to tamgo Maestro Francisco Canaro.
2006 – Had a big exhibition at the Bernardino Rivadavia Centre, Rosario, Argentina. Draws the Ottawa Animation Festival’s 2007 poster.
2007 – 2011 – Published the graphic novel of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in London. Currently working on a graphic adaptation of a 20th century French novel. In May-June 2011, held an exhibition showing 75 drawings and paintings on the theme “London People”, at the Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2011 – An exclusive US Appearance at the CTN animation eXpo in a one on one spotlight interview about his work, inspiration and life.
Seaside Woman Directed and Animated by Oscar Grillo.