Politicians find themselves in focus in veteran newspaper cartoonist B.G. Gujjarappa’s ongoing show in Bangalore.
Rahul Gandhi appears as a bespectacled toddler with a feeding bottle (after the Amul baby comment made by Kerala chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan during the Kerala assembly polls); Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is depicted as Durvasa Muni, a muni who is always agitated. Congressman Veerappa Moily finds it so difficult to go by the book that the Indian Constitution appears to weigh him down.
“Any cartoonist is really a very close observer of human beings,” says Gujjarappa over the phone. “If you really observe a person, you can see their entire character unfolding…it’s in the person’s behaviour and gestures that you find the matter to deal with the subject,” he adds. Gujjarappa, an art director at Indya Comics in Bangalore, has also illustrated around a thousand children’s books.
“For instance, look at Yeddyurappa. Have you ever seen him smile? He’s always grumpy and angry and agitated. Plus we know that he’s highly religious. So I depicted him as the grumpy muni Durvasa Muni,” he says. Rahul Gandhi’s caricature needs no explanation. “But with Moily I wanted to show how difficult it was becoming for him to enforce the statutes of the Constitution on everyone.”
The exhibition of cartoons (which does not have a name) has 62 works. These are a mix of Indian ink and computer software (Stylus) images.
Over the years, the subjects of his cartoons have included the likes of Albert Einstein, Amitabh Bachchan, Fidel Castro, Charlie Chaplin, Deve Gowda, V.S. Naipaul, Manmohan Singh, Tom Hanks, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The show is on till 14 May, 9am-6pm (Sundays closed), at the Indian Institute of Cartoonists, No. 1, Midford Garden, behind Big Kid’s Kemp, off MG Road, Bangalore.