Biographies: Pedro León Zapata


(1929-2015) Venezuelan painter and graphic humorist. Relevant figure of graphic journalism in Venezuela; his extensive humanistic training led him to interpret through his illustrations diverse cultural and artistic manifestations (literature, politics, bullfighting...) of Spanish and Latin American culture.

Fame arrived starting from 1964, when he began to publish in the newspaper El Nacional a kind of truly ingenious and brilliant graphic editorials, which were baptized by the journalist Omar Pérez with the aggressive name of “zapatazos”. Respected and applauded as one of the great cartoonists of his time, he turned one of his most celebrated creations into a popular character, the charismatic Coromotico, a cunning and distrustful representative of the lowest layers of Venezuelan society. Coromotico, the protagonist of numerous graphic comments drawn from the pen of Pedro León Zapata, identifies with the poor because of his hungry thinness and the rags that are barely enough to cover it, but also because of the intelligent suspicion with which he casts promises and declarations pertaining to those deemed ‘powerful’.

Outside the socio-political sphere, the cartoonist from La Grita raised his artistic inspiration to high levels through a series of caricatures that, inspired by ‘Vida del Buscón’, by Don Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas, were published in the magazine Papeles, Edited by the Ateneo de Caracas. And in his facet as a painter, Pedro León Zapata reaped notable public and critical success with numerous exhibitions, among which it is mandatory to highlight those entitled Las Batacanas (1970), Revolucionarios y Jijos de la Pelona (1972), 80 Dibujos Taurinos ( 1974), Guerra es Guerra (1974) and Todo el Museo para Zapata (1975), the latter gathered at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas.

SOURCE: Biografías y Vidas (redacted, translated)

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