Monday, April 19, 2010

Is caricature grotesque?
Not always. It certainly is more likely to contain the bizarre visual appeal of the grotesque, rather than the visual appeal of beauty- largely because the grotesque is more useful in getting a message across, and caricature tends to be full of exaggerations, which bring it in the direction of grotesque-ness. But while certainly being somewhat akin to the grotesque, it also often does not actually reach grotesqueness. At what point should we call something "grotesque"? The word is apparently over-used to the point where the meaning starts to become muted. I certainly have a tolerance built up when it comes to seeing grotesque images. If a caricature contains that strange visual appeal of something that is not beautiful, yet does not truly horrify us, is it still grotesque?

This James Gillray caricature is creepy, though not horrifying. The figures, while not beautiful, are oddly fun to look at. Is it grotesque, or am I merely overusing the word?

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