In a nutshell
(I’m just gonna take it from the book flap) This is Scarfe’s first collected volume of his work for twenty years, with amusing and poignant anecdotes to present the drawings and other works that have established him as one of our foremost cultural commentators. Artist, stage designer, political cartoonist and satirist, Gerald Scarfe has given us some of the most famous and controversial images of the twentieth century. He has worked with an eclectic mix of English and American icons: from Pink Floyd to Disney, Private Eye to Time magazine, the English National Ballet to Peter Hall, the New Yorker to the Sunday Times.
What I liked
Firstly, his introduction. It’s a must-read if you’ve not heard of him before. You’ll learn how Scarfe who was asthmatic, found his voice and style when he decided to leave Royal College of Art for freelance. It was after several stints that he began to realise his strength – making a comment and offering an opinion in his work.
Secondly, I admire his art and creativity. He not only draws, he sculpts too! Is he a man of many talents or what! Not to mention also, his audacity to be crude in his craft which many include people in the public office. As someone said, when readers opened their cosy Daily Mail in the morning and saw a Scarfe, it was as though the family dog had just shat on the breakfast table.
“In general, the people I draw don’t react to my drawings. Most of them are figures in public office and perhaps feel it’s beneath their dignity to respond. But I think some of them enjoy it, and it’s probably better to be portrayed as a dung beetle than not to be mentioned at all. It means they’ve arrived and are people of ‘note’.” (the drawings are very very offensive and grotesque, mind you. I don’t think our urrrmmm local urrrmmm ‘scene’ would allow such to even go to print! hah)
Scarfe said, “I had become well known, not for inventing a cartoon character, like Disney had for Mickey Mouse or Schulz for Charlie Brown, but for a view of life and attitude of mind.”
I don’t usually buy coffee table books due to its size and weight, but I just couldn’t resist myself when I saw this fiery red cover book staring right back at me from the shelf. And for its price at RM59.90, how can I say no? LOL
I’m also the sort who like to see where artists draw their inspiration from and learn a thing or two about what makes them tick (the artists). I especially like what Scarfe said about caricature: “Caricature is the art of disassembling the face and other physical aspects of a person and rebuilding those elements, often in stylised, exaggerated form, in an attempt to reveal their true character. This technique is used not only in the world of cartoons but also in that of ‘fine art’.”
This is why I love all sorts of books! I learn new stuff in almost every sentence 😀 But I have more questions based on that last quote…I’m thinking of asking our very own Zunar….Anyone know how can I get in touch with him? (Btw, Zunar, I think YOU ROCK! Bought one of your books! My hubby and I shared some laughs hehe)
What I didn’t quite like
Its weight. But yeah, it’s a coffee table book, what can I expect right haha 😛
My verdict? 4/5 (This is purely based on entertainment value because I know nuts about art :P)