Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another TLJ, and some thoughts...



Until i think of something new i'm going to keep experimenting with this simplistic linework. in the case of this caricature, another one for the Tommy lee Jones caricature jam, I'm trying to see how far i can take this style.

I feel that although I'm breaking the face down into the simplest forms in my head, when i try to put that to paper, as the case with my last few posts, it just looks like a lack of effort. with such simple drawings. i am not satisfying myself with my art, i don't feel like I've put enough work into each piece. Hopefully i can think of something that can satisfy both my desire for simplicity in the representation of the subject, but also fulfill what i feel is the level of work that i need to put in to get something out of it, to improve.

I've also been thinking a lot about the very nature of caricature. I've seen a couple pieces lately, with accompanying commentary, that really test the edges of what caricature really is; what separates it from portrait. whether a caricaturist can really go too far with exaggeration. the way that i see it is a caricature is the representation of something in a pure form, completely dependent on the artists point of view. what i think separates caricature from portrait, is that point of view. when you draw a portrait, that has no point of view, it simply records what is there. but when you draw a caricature you record what you perceive, not what is there.

In Caricature you enhance whatever you see, beauty,character, a big nose, whatever it may be. For a real caricature there is no intellectualizing either, then you start trying to tell yourself what you see. a real caricature depends on a keen connection to ones perceptions, making that split second, knee-jerk reaction to what you really see.

There is an infinite range of caricature, some so far to one end of the spectrum that nobody but the artist sees it, but that is ok (unless of course you have a client, then you have to use their perceptions). I can say that i have often seen a drawing of a person that was intended to be a caricature, but ended up being a portrait. Maybe the artist does see an exaggeration, but if the piece doesn't say anything, or convey what they are trying to say, then it is a failure. even if the artist doesn't feel it is necessary, for other's they have to magnify what they did so that the audiance can see what they meant. This also happens the other way as well, all to frequently unfortuneately. An artists draws what they see and it is too much for the viewers, they are so distracted by the extent of exaggeration, that they either lose the likeness or don't get what the artist is saying, again this means it is not successful. unfortuneately art doesn't exist only for it's creator, but specifically for others. therefore, even if a caricature does what the artist wants, they need to tailor their exaggerations in order to share their view with others.
phew...

Anyways, sorry for the outpour about art and how i see it. It's nice to be able to vocalize my thoughts about my art, and from it improve . and perhaps these thoughts can help you with your art as well, i can only hope.

6 comments:

Dennis said...

good stuff man. I appreciate your words. I've been struggling a lot with my own satisfaction towards my work and where it falls as caricature. Keep the work coming.

Tooninator said...

amen brother.

I tried to explain to someone once that a real caricature has more life than a portrait.

the response I got about a portrait was, "it's got tons of life...it looks just like them"

A caricature artist (the real deal) pulls that life, that soul, right out of the form.

Dennis Hart said...

Well put man. I'll be chewing on these all week.

William Appledorn said...

Dennis, Matt, thanks for the comments fellas. it's cool to hear others thinking about the same things as i am.

Le Grand Ravioli said...

Your work is impressive and considering your age, the best is yet to come ! Continue to post on drawingboard !

Matt J said...

This works really well-incredibly spare yet Jones to a tee.