From a young age I have been fascinated by the art of caricature. In art school caricatures were looked at as low art, and I wasn’t allowed to create caricatures there.
After school I got paid to do caricatures for magazines and newspapers.
Although I have always disagreed with the teachers who told me caricatures were not ‘real’ art, it is amazing how much impact their response had to how I looked at caricatures. After a while I even stopped drawing caricatures at all, because I felt I wouldn’t be taken seriously as an artist.
When I realised I started to have the same viewpoint on caricatures as the people who forbid me to draw them in art school, I realised something had gone very wrong. I started looking at the work of the people whose work had inspired me for so long. Caricaturists, like C.F.Payne, Paul van der Steen , David Levine, Natalie Ascencios but also painters from long ago. Then I realised there is no such thing as high art and low art. A portrait artist looks at his subject and decides what he wants to express. he chooses what he wants to emphasise, wether it is shapes, colors, textures, attitude… A painter exaggerates. he makes you look at the subject like he does, by showing this to you with his painting. Over time painters have done many portraits in many different ways.
Some of the portraits that are considered ‘high art’ by some, are not much different than how I would have loved to paint a caricature in art school