The Fine Art of Caricature

Cartoons – will they survive the digital age?

Friday 18 August 2017, 5:30pm - 7pm


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Cartoons: Can they survive the digital age?

Start the weekend on a high note – come along to the Portrait Gallery, handily located on the waterfront, relax with a glass of wine and be entertained by Listener columnist Jane Clifton, award-winning cartoonist Toby Morris and cartoon historian Ian Grant, with Ian Fraser as moderator, in a lively discussion on ‘Cartoons – will they survive the digital age?’

The current exhibition Ludicrous Likenesses: The Fine Art of Caricature features the art of cartoon portraits. Spanning a period of over 300 years it also offers a sweeping reflection of the cultural and social history of the times, capturing moments of importance and people in the public eye.  The beautiful etchings by James Gillray ‘father of the political cartoon’, to the clever and quick images of the present day, also illustrate how drawing styles have changed.

Underpinning all this is the skill of the artists to create distorted but instantly recognisable depictions of well-known individuals. Hence the cartoon above – John Key, not having any distinguishable features, was difficult to depict – ‘He was spectacularly unspectacular’.

Ludicrous Likenesses: The Fine Art of Caricature at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery until October 23 2017, marks the 25th anniversary of the New Zealand Cartoon Archive, bringing together depictions both hilariously crude and subtly subversive from the Alexander Turnbull Library Collection.

Feature image: John Key: Everyone and no-one by Toby Morris, The Wireless 6 December 2016.