Although many fine divas stamped their mark on early recording, it was the tenor voice of Caruso which was the defining voice of the early twentieth century. His reputation was due to the fact that people could not only hear him in their own homes, but that his success could actually be measured in record sales; he was the first global superstar of the gramophone era. Enrico Caruso was the first recording artist with a million-selling record ("Vesti la Giubba," from Pagliacci), and his recordings of 10 songs 'made the gramophone' in 1902. He went on to make about commercial 490 recordings, and there is even more unreleased material. [more inside]
Franz Sedlacek (1891 – 1945) was an Austrian painter who belonged to the tradition known as "New Objectivity" ("neue Sachlichkeit"), an artistic movement similar to Magical Realism. At the end of the Second World War he "disappeared" as a soldier of the Wehrmacht somewhere in Poland.
Edward Sorel: Nice Work If You Can Get It a 20-minute overview of his career as a cartoonist and illustrator, in which the artist goes through a lot of paper in the search for immediacy. Filmed by his son, with commentary by contemporaries Milton Glaser and Jules Feiffer.
Funny Bones -- Anatomy of a Celebrity Caricature. Artist John Kascht looks for the unique character in Conan O'Brien's face and body. And hair. (Half-hour video)
This past Spring, Duke University hosted concurrent exhibits that featured curated images of satirical political cartoons. Fortunately, the exhibits are free to enjoy from the comfort of your bed/couch/desk chair. From the Nasher Museum of Art, there is Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature, comparing pieces from as early as 19th Century France to post 9/11 US. From the Perkins Library, we get Abusing Power: Satirical Journals, an exhibit of 19th and early 20th Century pieces from around the world.
French artist Anthony Geoffrey makes fantastic celebrity caricatures. The site uses flash and is in French but it loads fast and the navigation is simple. The caricatures are in the Portfolio. I particularly enjoyed his Ash from Evil Dead and his House MD. These are not the same as the ones you find in the mall by some poor guy trying to scratch out a living. [more inside]
David Levine, beloved caricaturist for several publications, but most notably for the New York Review of Books, died last Tuesday at age 83 due to complications of prostate cancer. Since 1963, he contributed over 3,800 caricatures for the magazine, which prominently featured his drawings in promotional material. You can look at over 2,500 of his drawings here, review his website featuring his painting here, and see him interviewed here. Toward the end of his life, his vision failed due to macular degeneration and his relationship with the magazine became somewhat strained. Upon his death, the magazine noted that he was, simply, "the greatest caricaturist of his time." [more inside]
Apple has rejected an iPhone app for making contact with your Congressperson. Why? Because it identifies each US Representative/Senator with a 'bobblehead' caricature by MAD magazine artist Tom Richmond (who, having done 540 not-terribly-disrespectful caricatures, is justifiably pissed). “Obscene, pornographic, or defamatory”?!? Well, maybe the Nancy Pelosi is gratuitously goofy...
As a belated tribute (of sorts) to Victoria Day, may you find interest in a variety of Victorina era literature, short and long. In the short category, there is Chit-Chat of Humor, Wit, and Anecdote (Edited by Pierce Pungent; New York: Stringer & Townsend (1857), who has written quite a bit of such work) [via mefi projects], and Conundrums New and Old (Collected by John Ray Frederick; J. Drake & Company Publishers Chicago, 1902) [via mefi projects] This publishing house also published The Art of Characturing, copyright 1941. If you prefer your antiquated humor with a twist, take a gander at bizarro version of Conundrums New and Old [via mefi projects]. In the category of longer works, behold the The Lost Novels of Victorian New Zealand [via an older mefi projects]. [more inside]
No Tourists, No Artists. Tourists at Atlanta's Underground didn't realize they were working with an real live artist, but they were. Tom Richmond, Caricaturist Of The Year for 1998 and 1999, recipient of a Reuben Award in 2003 , one-time comic book creator, and frequent artistic contributor to Mad Magazine (movie parodies, mostly), supported his freelance work for almost 18 years by doing cartoons-for-hire in historic Underground Atlanta. Despite many efforts to "save" it, Underground continues to fade in popularity and the tourist traffic just dwindles on down, leaving folks like Tom no choice but to pack up their paints and leave. Tom's story makes for interesting insight into a job that most of us might take for tourist-trapping huckstery. (via Radical Georgia Moderate)
Hilarious website showing one mans passion for drawing conservative themed art. The real gems are in the archive. My personal favorites include "Team W" and these creepy Reagan ghost ones  . Don't forget his epic comic The Patriot.
Borat likes you. Do you like Borat? Not everyone does. Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry is threatening to sue to prevent the country from being presented in a "derogatory way" by the caricature, a brainchild of UK comedian Sacha Boren Cohen, aka Ali G. [more inside, dziękuję]
The Hirschfeld Follies: A charming and generous gallery of Al Hirschfeld's portraits from The New York Times, spanning from 1928 to 2002 (registration required), indexed by date, person and show. Are there any outstanding young contemporary caricaturists out there who are doing good work (not necessarily in the theatre) we old-timers should know about? [Be sure to accompany with plep's great post on American cartoon and caricature and PeteyStock's January 2004 obituary post. And while you're at it, if you'll excuse the immodesty, my own David Levine post, with a (superb) still-working link.]
Manfred Deix is a caricaturist/satirist whose outrageous cartoons zero in on the sordid sexuality, racist politics, and other rather disturbing aspects of Austrian culture, with a distinctly Tyrolian flair. Understanding his work doesn't necessarily require fluency in Austro-Bavarian, but it sure helps sometimes (Caution: many of these images are NSFW).
Celebrity Caricature in America. The website of a 1998 exhibition at the (US) National Portrait Gallery. Via the National Portrait Gallery's online exhibitions, where there are even more fine things.