Sunday, January 24, 2010

Barack Obama: Change and Hope in Personality?

Our most recent President Barack Obama has had a lot thrust upon him within the last year or so; along with critical decision making and the constant pressure of governing a country and maintaining a certain level of dignity and understanding that change is possible but it will not happen over night. He came into the Presidency with a positive outlook and attitude that is carried throught his persona.

Along with displaying intense understading and seriousness while being in the White House; many photos of him smiling have been taken, like this one on the right. Some caricature artist have avoided the depicting of Obama in order to not appear racist- or so that the caricature itself does not fall into the stereotypical image of "African American" and what not.

However, i feel that the caricature to the right bares a pretty good understanding of Baracks' facial features along with the strong structure that his face has. Caricatures are "like in unlike," and in this case the artist has captured the very essence of Obama, so much so that this may appear as a portrait, except for the exaggerations in the forehead, ears, nose teeth and chin.

This is definately one of the better transformations that I have come across. Dan Johnson, the artist here has this "deep knowledge of the sources of expression."

He has captured Obamas' deeply rooted wrinkles, strong jaw and the almost perfect teeth! The top half of this sketch is remarkable on its own from the nose up, the eyes are what read into who the person is, which makes sense since the eyes and areas around the eyes can convey happiness, sadness, surprise and anger without any mouth movements. The eyes are where we connet when we hold converstions and when we first come across one another.
The fast paced mark-making in this sketch adds to the excitement of this emotion. When we are happy, or when we smile the muscles react almost instantly and if there is a joke being told our entire body reacts at once. In all this caricature captures his effervecent personality and the attitude he entered the into the White House with- positive, up-lifting and fresh. Being the first African American in office is no small endeavor- and keeping your head while going through struggles is not easy; but it is necessary if the promise of "change" and "hope" is what you represent.


  1. What an amazing caricature! I completely aggree with how well the artist captured the essence of Obama. This fully supports Carracci's idea of grasping "the perfect deformity" to "reveal the very essence of a personality." His deformities almost make him even more recognizable.

  2. Since I was not part of the discussion the first day I did not hear about how many artists tried not to depict Obama in a racist way. I agree that the artist tried to illustrate Obama's features rather than his race. This is a funny depiction of his personality.