Political Caricatures: A Combined Art Form

Opening a paper to the editorial section usually guarantees a reader access to a political cartoon. Politics happen on a daily basis and need not wait for an election. Newspapers, always in the forefront of current events, present daily political cartoons for their readers. Each of these cartoons has two features. The most prominent feature is the art work. The art must represent a political figure that is easily recognized by the readers in a caricature format. The second feature of political cartoons is the word content. This is one of the few venues in which words are combined with a drawn picture to create artistic expression.

Creating copy is not usually considered an art form. Writing is a creative expression, but it is generally not associated with visual arts. Cartoon drawing has also had to struggle for its own place in the art community. While it is an accepted form of expression, many consider it to be low-brow art. This does not detract from it as an art form, but those who work in this media are not always given full respect as artists. The transitory nature of caricature drawing for political reasons also limits the recognition of artists in this format.

For those who live and breathe politics, cartooning as an art form has many uses. It can be used to uphold a political viewpoint or discourage one. It can point out the good and bad policies of various candidates. For this reason, it is widely used during political election years. In recent campaigns it has been taken to new heights. Ceramic decals or ceramic transfers are printed with favorite political cartoons and placed on mugs and glassware. These are distributed to those who support the candidate or their party. It is an effective use of modern art to sway political opinions.

Political cartooning remains a staple of the media. Its ability to be drawn quickly and use of words to express political views on a daily basis make it an ideal format for politics. Artists, even those with relatively few years of experience, can participate in political campaigns through this format. A good eye for detail and an ability to draw are the basis of this art. Adding words can be done by the artist or a writer. This combined art form lights up the world of politics with fresh expressions on a daily basis.