Thursday, 18 March 2010

Does the perfect caricature exist? Hayden Panetierre’s my candidate?

Hayden Panetierre’s beautiful, she’s young, she’s famous but is this the perfect caricature?

Haydn Panetierre 

Ok so the answer may be a deafening “NO!”. But does the perfect caricature even exist? What are the requirements?

The key question boils down to “Is  likeness important?”. I say, that depends: there has to be a degree of distortion but, with increased distortion, comes reduction in “Victim” likeness. But distortion IS funny. Think of Gerald Scarf a master at facial distortion bordering on the cruel.

I think the key to determining distortion is identifying the intended recipient. Newspapers seek out the cruel, especially the political sections, their readers demand it. So, limits can be stretched to the MAX. Commissioned gift caricatures, on the other hand, have a more sensitive audience. Usually the intention is for the “victim” to enjoy the finished result.

I cater to the latter group, so I keep facial likeness and distort bodies. That’s my style, and I’m sticking with it!

Personally I feel a good caricature should have “line quality” – strong, well defined lines reflect confidence. They should be near “perfect” in their placement. I’m a minimalist fan – so the simpler the better. Just enough to define the features, but no more! Whilst I admire Scarf’s work, I prefer clean lines in my work.

So, considering my criteria and looking at Hayden here, this is a perfect caricature!

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