Scarfe’s Monsters

Gerald Scarfes Monsters coverScarfe’s Monsters cover

I had the pleasure of hearing Gerald Scarfe talk about this new book yesterday morning. He inevitably touched on the potted highlights of his amazing career.

From his beginnings as an untrained illustrator to satire and politics, Pink Floyd, Yes Minister and Disney.

I’m not sure he’d call himself a pure illustrator. He’s more a creative force that just lives for satire, comment and the latest creative challenge.

He wants to use his voice. He’s not content with just putting pen to paper, he wants it to really count. Famous for perfectionism and a grumpy sustaining cantankery.

There is a piercing truth in his cartoons. Lampooning, peeling back the veneers of spin, smug deception and lies, the acid in his ink burns through the dirt and shows these public figures for what they are.

Scarfe on expenses: Hazel Blears

It’s a great book, Bush, Blair, Thatcher, Brown to Obama. The pictures do convey what a 1000 words can’t say, holding a cruel mirror of cynical truth. Sometimes too cruel maybe, but unrelenting and essential to redress the balance and unjust power that modern celebrity and politics wield.

You can’t help smile and gasp when you see a Scarfe, you’re just glad its not you!

If you don’t know already Scarfe does a weekly cartoon for The Sunday Times, my fave to date is the cunning swipe at Hazel Blears as a petite little piglet.

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