Caricature: Definition, History, Functions, Characteristics, and How to Make It

In the world of art, images that mean exaggerating or changing the shape of objects are usually called caricatures. The caricature itself comes from the word caricare, which is a word that comes from Italian which means to give a load or exaggerate. In simple terms, the meaning of this caricature is an image or depiction of a concrete object by exaggerating the characteristics of that object.

Generally, this media is used as a medium to convey messages or criticism in a simple way. Caricature is a unique and interesting painting, we can usually see it on the first page of a newspaper or magazine. The characteristics of caricature images generally use the character of a person who has an abnormal size in determining the body and head. Not only that, there is also an element of satire presented by the author regarding social issues or problems that never get a solution. So, who is curious about further discussions about the meaning of caricatures and the various things in them? Let’s see this article to the end.

Definition of Caricature

There are several reasons why a caricature has the meaning of an image which means exaggerating or changing the shape of an object. In terms, the notion of a caricature is an image that displays a known object and is generally intended to give a funny impression to those who know the object in the image. In general, these caricatures are used as a means of criticism of politicians and social media which seem more polite. Its funny and unique shape makes caricature images still in great demand by many people. Even though it looks quite simple, making a caricature is not easy.

Quoting from a book entitled 40th Oom Pasikom by GM Sudarta (2007), caricatures are images that are easy to remember accompanied by short satirical comments that are quite entertaining and rich in interpretation. According to him, the purpose of the caricatures is to encourage rethinking and re-creating reality to achieve a better life. This caricature can contain a message or satire that is humorous.

Meanwhile, quoted from the Big Indonesian Dictionary or KBBI, the definition of a caricature is a picture of ridicule that contains a message, satire, and so on. This caricature depicts a familiar subject and is generally intended to cause humor to those who know the subject. In addition, caricatures are often equated with cartoons because they are almost similar. However, the main difference between cartoons and caricatures is that caricatures do not form a story the way cartoons do. Where this caricature can be an element in cartoons, for example in editorial cartoons. The person who makes the caricature is known as a caricaturist.

History of Caricatures

After understanding the meaning of caricature, this time we will discuss about its history. Where the development of this caricature has started since the 16th century. Even though previously during the Ancient Egyptian Era, there had been found many kinds of animal drawings that had human-like behavior levels. However, the popularity of this work of art became popular in Italy during the Renaissance. At that time, caricatures were only made for fun. Several artists such as Carracci and also Leonardo da Vinci and several other artists deliberately created these images to entertain themselves and also their friends. Until finally, an artist named Pier Leone Ghezzi began to pursue this work of art and managed to create more than 2,000 works of caricatures.

However, the work of Pier Leone Ghezzi is not published publicly. His work became an entertainment for the elite at that time. After spreading widely in Italy in the 16th century, caricature art began to spread to Europe in the 18th to early 19th centuries. In the 18th century, caricatures began to develop in England, to be precise after the publication of several works by Ghezzi and also other Italian artists in 1744. Some cartoonists were quite famous at that time such as James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, and also George Cruikshank. At that time, they had managed to combine elements of caricature with cartoons, eventually producing a satirical cartoon.

However, in the 1830s, this type of work began to decline in England. Until finally it was exported to France in the weekly La Caricature and began to expand to the daily Le Charivari. With these two places of publication, France has succeeded in making France a center for caricature works of art. Until finally, the world of caricatures began to spread to other media, one of which is sculpture. The making of a caricature statue starts with a caricature statue by Jean-Pierre Dantan. The results of the artist’s caricature sculptures ultimately have a considerable influence on other artists. The artists create various types of unique caricatures in the form of head sculptures of world famous singers, writers, and figures.

See also  Anies Baswedan Biography, Career Journey to Becoming the Governor of DKI Jakarta

Not only that, at the end of the 19th century, in 1868 in London to be precise, an artist named Thomas Gibson Bowles began to publish Vanity Fair, a magazine that contained political, social and literary issues. Until finally the magazine became famous because it contained caricatures with various shades of color depicting literary figures, kings, and politicians. Most of the published caricatures were drawn by Carlo Pellegrini, an Italian cartoonist. Carlo uses the pseudonym “Singe” which means monkey in French. Also “Ape” which in English means to work. Philosophically, these names have the meaning to reflect work that imitates an object but is not perfect.

Still in the 19th century, it turned out that the caricature works published by Vanity Fair had a major impact and influence on the work of Joseph Kepper, an Australian immigrant who published Puck magazine in New York, United States. Where the magazine began to be published in 1876 using German. After only half a year of publication, the magazine began to use English. The Puck magazine experienced success, until in the end many publishers followed suit. Therefore, in the 19th century, many publications published caricatures every day. In fact, a caricature that was published in Harper’s Weekly magazine also contributed to the collapse of political power at that time.

The next development was at the beginning of the 10th century. At that time, the development of caricatures began with the migration of Marius d Zayas, a caricaturist from Mexico who moved to New York. The artist began to develop a painting style known as an abstract caricature. At the beginning of the 20th century, caricature underwent quite a dramatic development. Precisely after the end of World War 1. Along with the development of film, photography, and magazines. Along with this, a new genre emerged called theatrical caricature. Al Frueh was one of the first artists to introduce the genre by publishing Stage Folk and a collection of his caricatures in the Art Deco style, published in 1922.

Since then, the caricature began to develop. Then at the end of the 20th century, to be precise in the late 1960s and early 1970s, caricatures with the political genre began to become popular again. At that time, Steven Heller who was the senior art director at The New York Times said that this period was a very important period in the world of 20th century caricatures. At that time, several polemics began to occur, such as the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, culture, feminism, and civil rights which became the subject of discussion which in the end played a role in the birth of political caricatures.

Artists such as David Levine, Robert Grossman, and Edward Sorel pioneered this type of political caricature. Their caricature works have been published in The New York Review of Books magazine, Esquire, New York, to various other types of media. Until the 1980s, Spitting Image television broadcasts also showed various kinds of caricatures in the form of dolls that were aimed at making fun of politicians and party leaders in the Margaret Thatcher era. The broadcast began airing from 1984 to 1996 which was pioneered by Roger Law and Peter Fluck. Then in the 1970s, he made caricatures that were published in The Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Time, and various other international media.

Caricature Function

The function of the caricature itself is to create public opinion. Not only that, caricatures also function as images of joy. Related to creating an opinion, caricatures can also lead someone’s opinion to be pro or con against an issue. In this way, caricatures become an effective tool to generate opinions because they are widely published in various media.

In addition, caricatures are also used as a means of entertainment. Where the pictures produced by a caricaturist with exaggerated forms can make other people entertained. More than that, caricatures also function as imaging. Where this caricature can be used as an imaging medium for one’s character. The following is an explanation of the function of the caricature itself, including:

1. Generate New Opinions

As a medium for social criticism, it’s no wonder that caricatures can create a new opinion in society. For example, a picture of an enlarged stomach can be used as an opinion to convey the message that the person has eaten people’s money and so on. Therefore, there are also many cases of complaints arising from caricature images that are considered to be harassing or offensive to state officials.

See also  Definition of Photosynthesis: Stages, Terms, Factors, and Benefits

2. Depicting Happiness

Like cartoons, caricature images are also used as entertainment media and have quite high humor values. The humor usually appears in the form of satire or satire. Thus, the humor is not merely humor, but also contains an allusion to the person addressed in the caricature image.

3. Describing the Image of a Person

The creator of the caricature or caricature image must be able to create or visualize the person being drawn so that it is exactly the same and similar to the original. Therefore, in enjoying caricature images, we must be able to recognize who is in the caricature images.

Even though it began to be used as a means of conveying social criticism to the government, now the use of caricatures does not stop here. With the development of the times, caricatures can also be used as gifts and also as mementos for various events. As well as wedding gifts, graduations, birthdays, and more.

Caricature features

Caricature images certainly have certain characteristics. The following are some of the characteristics that describe a caricature image, including:

a. Displays the shape of the human head in a larger size than usual.
b. There are several changes in the anatomy of the body. That way, the image will look like a cartoon image. However, the caricature itself is more similar to the shape of the original face.
c. We can find it in print media such as magazines, newspapers, and posters.
d. Caricature images generally allude to a particular event.
e. Caricature images are very closely related to the value of humor or entertainment.

Caricature Type

Caricatures come in various types that can be adjusted to consumer tastes. The following are the types of caricatures that you can find.

1. Journalistic Caricature

Journalistic caricature is a type of caricature that is used to interpret news in graphical form complete with a critical point of view.

2. Reality Caricature

This type of caricature usually discusses several issues related to everyday life.

3. Political Caricatures

This type of political caricature is a caricature related to political issues or some facts that exist in real life. The purpose of this caricature is none other than to exaggerate certain features or certain situations to communicate certain criticisms.

How to Make Caricature Artwork

One of the most important things in making a caricature is the object’s resemblance to the original. Here are some ways to make caricature art.

1. Theme Selection

The choice of theme really influences the process of making this work of art. Usually the theme taken is socio-cultural, political, religious, economic, and so on. The object of the image can be a character that is currently being discussed by the general public. In addition, the selection of objects must also be considered properly. For example, the character that becomes the object may not corner race, ethnicity, religion, or other sensitive matters.

2. Creative Process

This art image is a medium for conveying messages that is quite simple and violates anatomy. To achieve this simplicity, artists need to study carefully and diligently and humorously. In the creative process, knowledge and techniques are needed so that images filled with satire can impress people. So that the message conveyed can be received by the community. The things that need to be prepared in the creative process are:

a. Photo of the face of the character to be drawn.
b. Recognize the character of the character to be drawn.
c. The message that will be conveyed does not contain SARA.
d. Contains a sense of humor.
e. Media used manually or computer.

3. Paying attention to expressions

In making caricatures, expression is absolute. This will be the main attraction for the audience. Excessive expression in a caricature will make it look different from other images. The painter can also display it on the face as well as other body parts, so that it will seem more unique and harmonious.

4. Adjusting the Media or Target

The next step is to adjust to the media or target of the image created. The target can be a newspaper or magazine that matches the message of the caricature.

This is an explanation of the meaning of caricatures, types, characteristics, functions, and also how to make them. Hope it is useful.