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Gerald Scarfe (1936-): Renowned English Cartoonist and Illustrator

Gerald Scarfe (1936-)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (9743419do) Gerald Scarfe and Jane Asher Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018 announcement, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK - 05 Jul 2018

Gerald Scarfe aka Gerald Anthony Scarfe CBE RDI, born on June 1, 1936, in England, is a prominent cartoonist and illustrator. His illustrious career encompasses roles as The Sunday Times’s editorial cartoonist and The New Yorker’s illustrator.

Scarfe’s artistic contributions also extend to the realm of music, notably creating graphics for the iconic rock group Pink Floyd. His remarkable work is most recognized for its integral role in Pink Floyd’s 1979 album “The Wall,” its 1982 cinematic adaptation, and the accompanying tour from 1980 to 1981. Scarfe also left his creative mark on the music video for “Welcome to the Machine.”

Beyond music, Scarfe’s talents graced the world of animation as the production designer for Disney’s animated feature “Hercules” in 1997. Furthermore, his artistic touch adorned the opening titles of the acclaimed television series “Yes Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister.”

Gerald Scarfe

Born: June 1, 1936

Nationality: English

Occupation: Cartoonist, Illustrator

Notable Works: Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” Disney’s “Hercules,” The Sunday Times, The New Yorker

Awards: CBE, Cartoonist of the Year, and more

Spouse: Jane Asher

CAREER:

Writer, artist, animator, editorial cartoonist, set designer, costume designer, screenwriter, director, and illustrator. Time, cartoonist and illustrator, 1966; Daily Mail, political cartoonist, 1966; Sunday Times, London, England, political cartoonist, 1967—; cartoonist for Punch and Private Eye magazines during the 1960s. Animation designer and director for motion pictures, including Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. Writer and director of documentary films for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Channel Four. Exhibitions: “U.S. Election ’68,” Waddell Gallery, New York, NY, 1968; “Hung by Scarfe,” Sears Vincent Price Gallery, Chicago, IL, 1969; “Gerald Scarfe 60-70,”

Waddell Gallery, New York, NY, 1970; “Gerald Scarfe,” Osaka, Japan, 1970; “Gerald Scarfe, Sculpture,” Pavilion d’Humour, Montreal, Canada, 1970-73; “Gerald Scarfe at the Festival Hall,” 1983; “Gerald Scarfe Meets Walt Disney,” Museum of the Moving Image, South Bank, London, 1997; exhibition of drawings for Hercules, Z Gallery, New York, NY, 1997; “Scarfe at the N.P.G.,” National Portrait Gallery, London, 1999; “Gerald Scarfe in Southwark,” 2001; “Heroes and Villains—Scarfe at the NPG,” 2003; exhibition at fine arts society, London, 2005.

Gerald Scarfe (1936-)
Gerald Scarfe

AWARDS, HONORS:

British Press Award, Cartoonist of the Year, 2006; Laurence Olivier Award for sets and costumes for Le Dindon; BAFTA Award for autobiographical film Scarfe by Scarfe.

WRITINGS:

Gerald Scarfe’s People, D. White (New York, NY), 1966.

(Illustrator) Sketches from Vietnam, Cape (London, England), 1968.

(Illustrator) Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” lyrics by Roger Waters, photographs by David Appleby, Avon (New York, NY), 1982.

Gerald Scarfe, Thames & Hudson (London, England), 1982.

Scarfe by Scarfe, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1986.

Gerald Scarfe cartoon

(Illustrator) Disney’s Hercules: Hades, the Truth, at last, transcribed by Nancy Krulik, Disney Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Heroes & Villains, National Portrait Gallery Publications (London, England), 2003.

Drawing Blood: Forty-five Years of Scarfe Uncensored, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor of cartoons and illustrations to periodicals, including Vogue and the New Yorker.

Creator, producer, and animator of the animated film, Long Drawn-Out Trip, 1972; creator and director of the autobiographical film, Scarfe by Scarfe, BBC Television, 1987; director and presenter of television films Scarfe on Art, 1991, Scarfe on Sex, 1991, Scarfe in Paradise, 1992, and Scarfe on Class, 1992; director and presenter of Horst, BBC Omnibus, 1992.

Gerald Scarfe drawing

SIDELIGHTS:

Gerald Scarfe is an artist, animator, writer, and filmmaker whose distinctive style of animation and artwork was perhaps most widely viewed in the film Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” Much of his early work was as a satirical cartoonist in magazines such as Punch and Private Eye. He has been the political cartoonist for The Sunday Times in London for almost four decades. In his early career, Scarfe served as a Vietnam correspondent for the London Times, recording his observations and impressions in powerful artwork.

Gerald Scarfe cartoon

A prolific designer, Scarfe has also worked on many stage productions, functioning as the set designer and costume designer for performances ranging from ballets to plays, operas to ice-skating extravaganzas. Much of his work as a director and filmmaker has been with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Channel Four, where he produced live-action programming and documentaries. His long association with the musical group Pink Floyd began in 1973, and he has created graphics and animation for the group’s numerous tours and albums.

Scarfe’s “needle-sharp caricatures have burst many an inflated ego,” observed Danuta Kean in the Bookseller, and the many drawings collected in Heroes & Villains are no exception. The “book juxtaposes Scarfe’s iconoclastic images of great Britons living and dead against their portrait” in Britain’s National Portrait Gallery, Kean noted.

Gerald Scarfe cartoon
Cartoon by Gerald Scarfe

Each set also includes an essay by another prominent figure discussing the portrait subject. Kean concluded, “As one would expect, Scarfe shows no mercy,” setting his satiric cartoons in sharp contrast to the dignified NPG portraits, vigorously lampooning celebrities, politicians, and entertainment figures.

Drawing Blood: Forty-five Years of Scarfe Uncensored contains a multitude of caricatures and drawings from the prolific Scarfe, covering subjects from 1960s icons like the Beatles to more contemporary figures such as Eminem and President George W. Bush. Scarfe’s “keen eye for detail, his fidelity to each subject, and his unique sense of over-crowded space set him … apart” from other cartoonists and caricaturists, commented a Publishers Weekly contributor.

Gerald Scarfe cartoon

The book also includes material such as newspaper clippings, contemporary ephemera, and criticism of Scarfe’s work. Scarfe himself provides commentary on the subjects of his drawings, the social and political climate of the times when the drawings were made, and the controversies that often surrounded his work. The collection’s “fiercely angry and sometimes pornographic drawings” condense the essence of Scarfe’s “outrage at political corruption, abuse of power, and the destruction of war,” commented Michael Dashkin in Library Journal.

Gerald Scarfe cartoon

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Bookseller, August 15, 2003, Danuta Kean, “Sticking the Pen In Gerald Scarfe Has Collaborated with the National Portrait Gallery to Show That What a Portrait Conceals, a Caricaturist Will Reveal,” review of Heroes & Villains, p. 28.

Library Journal, July 1, 2006, Michael Dashkin, review of Drawing Blood: Forty-five Years of Scarfe Uncensored, p. 76.

Publishers Weekly, March 6, 2006, review of Drawing Blood, p. 62.

FAQ about Gerald Scarfe

1. Who is Gerald Scarfe?

Gerald Scarfe is a renowned English cartoonist and illustrator born June 1, 1936. He contributes to various fields, including animation, editorial cartoons, and illustrations.

2. What are some of Gerald Scarfe’s notable works?

Gerald Scarfe is famous for his work with rock group Pink Floyd, particularly on their iconic 1979 album “The Wall,” its film adaptation, and tour. He also provided animation for Disney’s “Hercules” (1997) and was an editorial cartoonist for The Sunday Times and an illustrator for The New Yorker.

3. What role did Gerald Scarfe play in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”?

Gerald Scarfe played a significant role in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” He designed illustrations for the album cover, created animated sequences for the film adaptation, and designed stage props, including inflatable characters, for the 1980-1981 concert tour to support the album.

4. Did Gerald Scarfe collaborate with Disney?

Yes, Gerald Scarfe collaborated with Disney as the production designer for the animated feature “Hercules” (1997). He played a crucial role in designing characters and supervising Disney artists to adapt his designs for the film.

5. What awards and honors has Gerald Scarfe received?

Gerald Scarfe has received several accolades, including being appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was also named “Cartoonist of the Year” at the British Press Awards in 2006 and was recognized as one of the 40 most influential journalists by the UK’s Press Gazette.

6. Is Gerald Scarfe married?

Yes, Gerald Scarfe is married to actress Jane Asher. The couple wed in 1981 and has a daughter and two sons.

7. Where can I find more information about Gerald Scarfe’s work and career?

You can explore Gerald Scarfe’s extensive bibliography, which includes books like “Gerald Scarfe’s People,” “Drawing Blood: Forty-Five Years of Scarfe,” and “The Art of Pink Floyd The Wall” to learn more about his work and life.

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