A slap in the face? or a window to the soul !
Caricature can be both things. As the above title of this talk alludes to, most caricature is a slap in the face, an affront to the dignity of the person being drawn. But the fact remains that a lot of the people being caricatured want to buy the originals, or even have the gall to ask for it for free from the Artists, or magazine, or newspaper.
Most portraiture is done to show off the sitter, to concentrate on their best qualities. Caricature does the opposite – it magnifies their worst qualities.
Caricature can be very cruel, but the best caricature tries to get closer to the real person than portraiture can. This is because with the use of distortion the Artist can pinpoint different things within the sitters psyche, and can therefore reveal more of the hidden side of people.
Some of the caricatures in the exhibition are very funny, very sad and very revealing. Not all cartoonists are caricaturists, and not all caricaturists hit their mark!
Like life itself, some people are elusive, you can’t pin them down. A good caricaturist wants to tell the truth about a person and not just attack them, and we all know just how truth is elusive especially when you try to track it down.
There are so many elements involved in caricature, and like humour itself, trying to understand how it works is usually a wild goose chase.
I believe like a lot of things in life, caricature at its’ core is a mystery. But trying to understand it is an adventure in itself!
Enjoy the adventure
Jim Bridges, President The Australian Cartoon Museum