Monday, January 30, 2012

"The Man Who Dared to Differ from His Mother-in-Law"

This cartoon represents a burlesque scene of a man cringing from his mother-in-law after he contradicts her.  The reason it's burlesque is because the man is shown to be very much scared of the mother-in-law for what seems to be no reason at all.  This is playing up the stereotype of the  grumpy mother-in-law who always has to be right, and who is always at war with her son-in-law. 
One can tell that the man is very frightened of her; not just by his face, but by how his body is grotesquely contorting away from her, as if to shield himself.  The mother-in-law, on the other hand is standing very straight and proud, exuding confidence and superiority.  Her daughter in the background has a similar posture, so we can assume the man has to deal with this attitude on a daily basis instead of just when the mother-in-law visits.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Modern day superman

I had searched the Internet for a general comic based view into simple caricatures. I found an image of superman and how it related to the common man. Our views since childhood change on many things and how we see our favorite super hero changes as you get older. Simply due to the realities of life and many current economic situations the common man is no longer the fortified figure that is Clark Kent. The common man these days are simply middle class making enough to run through life and only try and enjoy it. The amount of laid back and lazy households in america have change with the convenience of technology. Also the general obesity in America is shown ,in this piece, in place of the invincible superman. The entirety of the work is just trying to bring down superman to our level, the level of the lazy cigarette smokers of the wonderful USA. Just shows nowadays the populous seems to be slightly pessimistic, viewing the world without a superman or a savior.

Baby Bulldog

I find this image to be a caricature by the irony of instead of dressing up the dog, they dressed up the baby as the dog. I see parents who like to have a twisted laugh at the similarities between their crawling infant and similar sized dog. The child's stance in this photo is perfect for proving their similarities , but if it weren't for tan coat colors, ears and forehead stripe the similarities between baby and bulldog could be overlooked. The costume creates a character of the family dog and now the family dog's new best friend.
This image would also fall under the category of hyperbole because the switch is so obvious yet can be considered taboo or wrong. A parent might be shamed to admit the commonalities they see between their child and their dog. Personally I connect to this image because my sister has a two year old and four dogs; shes always fears he'll grow up barking. It's a satirical yet adorable photograph that will serve as that embarrassing photo parents threaten their offspring with in order to argue obedience.

Vote Santa

This caricature, found on is making fun of politician credibility. With the two characters stumbling upon this 'campain poster' that states "Vote Santa" and then stating "At last, a politician we can trust!" we can easily figure out the message behind this cartoon.
This is an example of satire because it was created to ridicule a particular class of people, in this case, politicians. Thinking deeper about the message behind this, and the idea of Santa, I would also consider this to be ironic. We all know now that Santa is in fact a fictional character, his role on Christmas physically played by parents of young children. Is the illustrator of this cartoon sending a message that because Santa is, technically, parents, which can be nearly every type of person in this world, that politicians are even less trustworthy than the most untrustworthy parent/everyday person out there? Is the illustrator saying that politician's are even less trustworthy than a fictional character who's based on lies and belief himself? It's hard not to think of hidden messages in this caricature.

Last year's wrap up

This image was featured in Juxtapoz magazine's december 2011 issue. In class last week going over the definitions, I tried to find an image that may fit into one of them. I'm still baffled over what type of caricature this is. However the artist's work consists of paintings that seem like homages or moralizing images. Yet within this background there lies much political weight and relevance. This is what makes it confusing and hard to categorize. When does a characterization ever fall into one category?
In terms of the rendering, some of the subjects seem to be fitting the category of grotesque. For example the size of Charlie Sheen's head in the piece is very large in comparison to his shoulders. I feel as though the artist is mocking the subject, as did the media. The caricatures of Steve Jobs and Amy Winehouse seem to be addressed very differently in comparison to the caricature of Sheen. Which is why those two subjects seem to have more of a moralizing feel.As a whole this image has a lot of contrasting subjects and in some ways that's what makes it so compelling.

"Twinkie Defense?"

On January 17, 2012 Steve Kelley posted a political cartoon in the New Orleans times, playfully expressing the problems we as Americans have with Health Reform in relation to the rise in obesity during the past decade. In the cartoon a family prepares for their day accomplishing daily rituals like reading the news paper and preparing lunch for their children. The newspaper in the cartoon reads "Hostess Bankrupt. May spell end of twinkies, Ding Dong, Ho Ho's." For many families, breakfast time is used to socialize and talk about current events. The mother rebuts with, "Discouraging economic news, but a step forward in health reform." In this statement the mother is saying it is sad to see this large company disappear, especially after so many years of business. However, we can't help but wonder whether, this bankruptcy would improve the current weight issue. Between this front page newspaper article and the conversation between adults, Kelley accomplishes this satirical attempt to promote the current problem with obesity in the united states.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Head Ache

Top: Enrique Chagoya "The Head Ache: A print after George Cruikshank" (2010)
Bottom: George Cruikshank "The Head Ache" (1819)

I recently found (this) article in the New York Times about the Metropolitan Museum of Arts then new exhibition, “Infinite Jest: Satire from Leonardo to Levine.” Among the works on display, was the caricature created by Enrique Chagoya entitled, “The Head Ache: A print after George Cruikshank.” Created in 2010, Chagoya’s print reference’s that of George Cruikshank’s 18th century print, replacing the characters head with President Obama’s. By employing satire into the piece, Chagoya exaggerates the recent healthcare headaches and trials that have beleaguered the President. Similar to Cruikshank’s approach, Chagoya keeps the socially critical image of grotesque demons attacking the authoritative figure.

“We have been taught by the artist to see him (the victim of the caricatures) anew, to see him as a ridiculous creature. This is at bottom the true and hidden aim behind the portrait caricaturist’s art... With a few strokes he may unmask the public hero, belittle his pretentions, and make a laughing stock of him. Against this spell even the mightiest is powerless.” - Caricature, E.H.Gombrich and E. Kris.

Here, the caricaturist is exemplified as having power. The power of laughter. It is with this power, that the artist is able to make a statement, in this case, about President Obamas recent healthcare reforms is “regarded by the dogmatic and loved by the public, it enjoyed a freedom denied to great art.” In this case however, it is almost as if the artistic freedom that Cruishank was denied, or oftentimes ridiculed for in the 18th century, now has been embraced, or accepted as an art form. For Chagoya’s piece is appropriated in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perhaps political pieces like the Pamphlet against Louis XIV by R. de Hooghe, are now embraced by the public and encouraged?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Napkin People - Jacqueline Jacob

As I searched for a caricature, I found a great deal of funny and clever drawings but none of them seemed to spark any real questions or thoughts that made them different from any of the others. I decided to go a different route and pick a drawing that captured my attention from when I was a little girl, my Grandpa's Napkin people. These drawings were always a high interest of mine, because I never really understood why he made them, or whom he was making them for. I guess what makes these drawings so unique, is the fact that he just makes up these characters out of nowhere. As I talked to him on the phone this afternoon he was so thrilled to hear that someone actually found what he did interesting. He later explained that it all depends on the type of napkin and what kind of pens he had lying around in his pockets. Which makes perfect sense, seeing that when an artist goes to make there work it all depends on materials. He explained that not each napkin is flat some have a texture or pattern throughout them creating different ways to manipulate the pen and the ink laid down upon it. In the drawing titled Wade you see this type of texture and how it plays along with the wonky lines throughout the characters hair and mustache. But in the bottom two images he uses just simple lines to create an image that the brain recognizes being a human-like form. Within these few drawings I begin to process a story of who they could possibly of been in a story plot. It brings me back to the essay we had to read, Hugh Blair Lecture XVI. As the article describes each type of man, the Boor, ironical, flatter, I began to connect these descriptions to the individual characters that he drew. They describe a spread of different personalities and when I look at the drawings I begin to see these types of figures form into these characters. The amount of personality put into each character allows the mind to travel and question what was about to happen or what had happened in the story your mind begins to create. As I look at the drawing of St. Patrick he looks like a character that would have a similar description to being the ironical. He is this little quirky figure that looks like he would be the type to “go up to his enemies and volunteers to chat with them instead of showing hatred.” These are just a few of the many hundreds of napkin drawings my Grandfather has created over the years. Each one is unique in its own way and allows the mind to explore through an every day item most take for granted, the napkin.