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Drawing Blood: Forty Five Years of Scarfe…
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Drawing Blood: Forty Five Years of Scarfe Uncensored

by Gerald Scarfe

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A lavishly illustrated chronological run-down of over forty years of Scarfe's work in political cartoons, theatrical set and costume design, and animation. Featuring heavily are his favourite victims Nixon and Thatcher, alongside many more figures from British, US and international politics, pop and film stars, and royalty. Particular vitriol is poured upon Ian Smith and Enoch Powell (for obvious reasons) - thus any reader will need a certain level of familiarity with their cultural/historical context since these figures of the sixties and seventies do seem an awfully long way away now. A number of pages are given over to the extensive work Scarfe did with Pink Floyd (both for the film The Wall and for various stage props and effects), and to his collaboration with Disney on their Hercules movie. After the introduction (detailing his childhood, artistic schooling, and liking for Ronald Searle - whose influence is obvious), text commentaries are fairly minimal, merely setting the scene for each new project. But it's the pictures that are the point of a book like this anyway.

Of course, the prudish should be warned (if they didn't know already) that Scarfe's style explores the most grotesque sides of life, from merely gross distortion of celebrities' features through to a gleeful scrabbling around in the sexual and the scatological, via depictions of the horrors of war, pollution and famine.

So be aware that while there are glorious colourful costume designs for stage adaptations (Fantastic Mr. Fox), opera (The Magic Flute) and ballet (The Nutcracker), there are also pictures of George W. Bush pooping out bombs, and Mary Whitehouse being rogered by Rupert Bear in front of the pope. ( )
2 vote dtw42 | Dec 11, 2011 |
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'Drawing Blood' showcases the highlights from Gerald Scarfe's remarkable career as one of Britain's foremost artists and political cartoonists.

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