Gerald Scarfe - What you Need to Know

We chat to Gerald Scarfe, the NOISE Festival 2014 Curator for Illustration.

His art style is as unique as his journey into the industry. Here are some interesting little facts about what it was that led him to become the distinguished illustrator he is.
Watch the full video series here.

1. His dad was in the RAF.
As a child, Gerald moved around a lot on account of his father’s profession. Moving around a lot meant new schools and no stable education and friends provoked Gerald to put more into his drawing. And so he became a cartoonist, starting out with caricatures of public figures in Punch Magazine and then being pushed to be as grotesque with his drawings as we know him to be, by Peter Cook at Private Eye.

2. He tries to keep it interesting.
Drawing political cartoons can get pretty monotonous, so Gerald does what he can to switch it up. This has taken form in his work on Disney’s Hercules, his set design on The Magic Flute and perhaps most famously, his work with Pink Floyd on The Wall.

3. He wants his work to mean something.
Gerald realised early on his career that he didn’t want to be the kind of artist whose work said nothing. It’s for this reason that he shifted his focus from advertising and went the path of political cartooning. This has gotten him in trouble a few times, including once with 114 school girls who threatened to castrate him for his depiction of Mick Jagger!

4. He went to the RCA…for two weeks.
Having had no professional artistic education and considering the fact he was earning a fair bit of money, Gerald went to the Royal Academy of Art, just to see if he could. After a couple of weeks, he’d decided it was enough and just never went back.


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