Víctor José Arriagada Ríos (1934 – 2012), better known as Vicar, was a Chilean artist who started his career in Santiago de Chile on the 50s and later became a worldwide reference in comic and Disney Illustration. In this post we want to pay tribute to the exceptional artist and express our admiration for all his artwork realized between 1975 and 2011.
Víctor, like all the children of his time, loved to read the comic strips that appeared in the local newspaper, perhaps that is where his vocation for drawing started.
He clearly remembered about the first time he won a drawing contest. He was eleven years old and the local shoe store needed a new poster. Victor did not hesitate and using his drawing abilities created a fantastic poster. The owner felt in love with it and bought it right away paying him what looked like a fortune for the young kid. “In the image there was two kids looking through the showcase of a store plenty of shoes, in the background appeared the same poster with the same kids looking through the same showcase with another poster in the background… endlessly.”
In 1957, Vicar started studying electronic engineering at the Technical State University of Chile. However, his interest for numbers or electricity was very little compared to his drawing potential and his capacity to express his ideas by creating humorous characters.
While studying engineering, in 1958, he decided to take part in a very important contest: “7º Salón de dibujos Periodísticos” where he had a huge success. That gave him the opportunity to start working for several newspapers and magazine of his time.
He started drawing his multiple characters in different publications. The first ones were: a little horse for Mampato supplement of the daily “El Mercurio”; el Paleta, a character inspired in the president Jorge Alessandri for “Topaze” newspaper and others like Quevedo, Paquita, Viejo Verde and Hipólito and Camilo characters created for “El Pingüino” and the magazine “Barrabases” among others.
Success far from his hometown
His prestige grows in the national media in 1960 when he travels to Spain settling in Barcelona searching for new future career opportunities.
A new period full of success starts. He affiliates to “Bardon Art” and “Selecciones Ilustradas” staff as a drawer and starts working for several countries around Europe with humorous creations and illustrations for children’s books.
In 1964 he is invited to take part in the film “El mago de los sueños” (familia Telerín- Estudios Macián) next to big spanish drawers like Jordi Gines (Gin) and Albert Rué. It was the first spanish animated film. Through Bardon he continued making humorous comic strips like Bang Bang Sam, edited in the principal Europe Newspapers; Once upon a time ( Lui, Playboy and Penthouse magazines) and his collaboration with one of his most famous characters in North Europe: el Osito Petzy.
At the same time, in the middle of his creations appears the most remembered character among his followers: Guaso Ramón, a farmer in his country world. The idea of this special comic strip is born from the homesickness of the author and drawn weekly in Barcelona. Guaso Ramón is a real representation from Vícar’s birth country.
Fifteen years later, In 1975 he goes back to Chile and republishes the Guaso Ramón series in La Tercera supplement, in that moment directed by Vittorio di Girolamo.
Vícar and Disney
A very important part of his career is the permanent collaboration with Disney which starts in the 70s until his last days. Vícar has been considered the principal worldwide drawer of Donald Duck serie. Carl Barks (1901-2000), Donald creator, approached Vicar in the 75 year anniversary of the famous Disney Duck and told him:
“Nice to meet the artist that draws Donald better than myself”
A huge compliment for this artist that until now is the principal successor from Barks original style.
One of his highlights collaboration was participating in the book “Homenaje a Uderzo” (Asterix) at the age of 80 years old. In the story Asterix and Obelix intersect with the Disney Duck in a fascinating adventure created by Vicar.
This way, the Chilean artist shows a creative capacity and a talent that from his country conquers Europe with humor, drawing, perseverance, ingenuity and art.
In an Interview about his more than 40 years of career and his more than 10.000 pages published in more than 1300 stories Vicar said:
“ With so many Donald stories during all this years and after meeting so many readers around the world I would like to resume my feelings in one sentence: What makes me happier is being able to draw a smile in a kid’s face.”
Currently expositions around the world are exhibiting the legacy of whole Vicar’s career.
We proudly announce that Corner4art gallery has been selected by Vicar’s family to be official distributor of all his remaining original artwork.
In the words of Sergio Rincón, Corner4art owner: “I’m very proud to get Vicar’s family permission to share with them a part of Disney history through Vicar artworks. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to share his art with our collectors. I remember him when he landed in Barcelona and I was only a child, he was very good friends with my godfather, Jordi Macabich, Bardon Art owner. It’s a dream for me to see again this amaizing creations”
His lovely pencil pieces based on Disney Ducks world are a huge treasure that will be remembered for many years.