New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Culture
  2. Art & Design
12 April 2023

André Carrilho on 110 years of the New Statesman: “Putin has grown puffier”

The illustrator on working with the magazine since 2014.

By Ellen Peirson-Hagger

André Carrilho has watched Vladimir Putin’s face grow “puffier” over the years. The illustrator, whose caricatures of politicians are regularly on the cover of the New Statesman, pays closer attention than most.

Carrilho has worked for numerous titles including the Independent and Vanity Fair, and has been drawing Putin for more than 20 years. His first NS cover in March 2014 depicted the Russian leader readying himself for a fight. Putin is instantly recognisable, but almost a decade on, his face no longer looks the same. “I have to change the caricature with the changes of his physiognomy,” Carrilho says, laughing, from his studio in Lisbon, Portugal. “He has plastic surgery. He has these fillers, which are very common now with celebrities and some politicians. They stretch the skin, make it less wrinkly.”

Illustration by André Carrilho

While Putin’s face has altered, the story has not. Carrilho’s first cover in 2014 asked what was next for Russia after it had invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. “I have done a weekly cartoon in Portugal for 14 years and at some points I feel like republishing a cartoon that I did five years ago,” Carrilho says. “I feel like no one ever learns anything.”

Nigel Farage makes the perfect caricature,  Carrilho says, “because he’s such an awful person, everyone agrees he should be exaggerated”. He enjoys drawing Boris Johnson, whom he portrayed memorably in the NS as a series of Pinocchio-like figures. The former prime minister’s face is challenging, “but the hair solves most of the problems with recognition”.

The process begins when the NS’s head of design Erica Weathers briefs Carrilho on the next issue. He sketches five or six options – by hand, with a mechanical pencil – then colours the approved drawing on Photoshop. Sometimes the editorial team has a cover line in mind. At other times, particularly for conceptual covers, the illustration inspires the wording. This is what happened with “We can’t breathe”, Carrilho’s award-winning cover for Gary Younge’s 2020 article about the murder of George Floyd and the effects of Covid-19 on people of colour.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

“When we start working on a cover, no one knows what the finished product will be because it is collaborative.” At the NS, Carrilho is given “a seat at the table, which is the best you can get”.

[See also: Jemima Khan on 110 years of the New Statesman]

Content from our partners
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change
Tackling the UK's biggest health challenges

Topics in this article : , , ,

This article appears in the 12 Apr 2023 issue of the New Statesman, The Anniversary Issue