A caricature is an image of a subject that shows certain features in a simplified or exaggerated way. They can either be complimentary or insulting and can be drawn simply for entertainment or for some sort of political purpose. You can often find caricatures of politicians in editorial cartoons and caricatures of movie/television stars are often found in entertainment magazines. Caricature as an art form has been around for a very long time. Here are a few famous caricature artists that you could learn from by studying their work.
Sir Max Beerbohm: Famous Caricature Artists
Sir Max Beerbohm is a British caricature artist that lived from 1872-1956. He created and published caricatures of famous men from his time and even earlier. His style was established in 1896 and flourished until around 1930. Some of his published works include:
- Caricatures of Twenty-Five Gentlemen
- The Poets’ Corner
- Rossetti & His Circle
In addition, he was widely published in magazines of his time and his works were put on exhibit on a regular basis at the Carfax Gallery and Leicester Gallery in London, England from around 1901 to 1957.
George Cruikshank is a British caricaturist who lived from 1792-1878. His caricatures were primarily political prints attacking the royal family and politicians of that time. Later, he created social caricatures of life in Britain for popular publications such as:
- The Comic Almanack
He became well-known as an illustrator for Charles Dickens and other authors of his time.
Honoré Daumier is a French caricaturist who lived from 1808 to 1879. He created more than 4,000 lithographs. Most of those were on social, political, and even everyday themes. The daily newspaper published them.
Mort Drucker is an American caricaturist born in 1929. In 1957, he joined MAD and became widely known for his movie satire parodies. He combined caricature likenesses and comic strip style. In addition, he contributed covers to TIME magazine. He has been awarded the National Cartoonists Society Special Features Award in 1985 through 1988, and their Reuben Award in 1987 in recognition of his work.
Alex Gard is a Russian caricaturist who lived from 1900 through 1948. He created over 700 caricaturists of celebs in show business and other notables for the walls in Sardi’s Restaurant, located in the theater district of NYC. He was the very first artist to do this. These days, those images are part of the Billy Rose Theater Collection in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Al Hirschfeld is an American caricaturist who lived from 1903 to 2003. He was most well-known for his simple renditions of Broadway stars and celebs. In addition, he also created caricatures of various other famous people such as musicians, television stars, singers, and politicians.
He used flowing lines over heavy renderings. The US Postal Service even commissioned him to create art for postage stamps. You can view a permanent collection of his work at the Museum of Modern Art & the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Sebastian Krüger is a German caricaturist born in 1963. He is most known for his grotesque, but realistic distortions of the facial features of celebs. He primarily uses acrylic paint and has won praise for his caricatures from The Times. He has published 3 collections of his art and Morpheus International prints a yearly calendar featuring his work. You can often find his art in Playboy magazine and several others.
David Levine is an American caricaturist who lived from 1926 to 2009. His work is often featured in Playboy magazine and the New York Review of Books. His first caricatures appeared in 1963. Since that time, he has drawn many pen and ink caricatures of politicians and famous writers for the newspaper.
As you can tell, caricature has been around for many years as a form of entertainment. There are lots of famous caricaturists that you can learn from. You just have to think about what types of caricatures you are interested in creating and then seek out work by an artist who has created work in that realm and study them very carefully.
Then, start trying to create work of your own- don’t try to copy theirs because their style is their own and you need to work to create your own style that people will learn to recognize you by.