Thursday, April 22, 2010

Grotesque caricaturist Ralph Steadman

Reading about grotesque imagery, doing and edcation assignemnt, and Monday discussion made me relook at Ralph Steadman. He is a Biritsh caricaturist and cartooninst most famous for his illustrations of Hunter S. Thompson.

On Monday when we looked at the image of the Sopranos and whether it was a realitic scene or not, I reasoned that it was. Realism is an image that draws upon the physcial likeness of our world and then adds an agenda to the image. We couldn't consider the Soprano picture with bodies on the beach as real because dead bodeis everywhere is not something people can concieve as possible unless they witness a massacre.

Ralph Steadman at one point in his career experimented with drugs and his drawing style developed a new psychedelic medium. When people see his drawings they asume a surrealist drawing is in front of them. But Steadman like all his literary drawings, draws from the discritpion of the writing he works from. Hunter a rabid drug user had his experiences altered by trips and hallucinations. But to Thompson such visual effects were reality. By processing the experience and creating as a picture isn't Steadman creating a realistic image? Read the story and look at the picture and the event seems concievable. With Hunter's text the picture looks like ficition.

Steadman's redenring of figures is certainly grotesque in that the human body is not celebrated in any way romantically and is beastly and deforemed by paniced sensations. But this grotesqueness is what the truth is of the matter and the way we relate to grostesque imagey is relevant to how we are attached to story.

In DieHard if John McClane is shot I don't feel a sickening reaction because I can only bond with him at one level of his situation. In the film Audition the main character at the end of move is tortured and it becomes more personal because you know his desires as the film progresses and his pain is slow and graphic.

People only react to grotesque displays based on how much they believe in them. If there is little inference then the scene of violence is ignored as fantasy and not absorbed as a full moment.

1 comment: