John Springs

John Springs

 

There is a terrible truth in any victory, but this was far from being a hollow one. It’s not the job of the satirist to be charitable, more to distort a situation into something digestible and realistic. A cartoon feels the suffering of its subject matter even when that subject has been exposed as something of a hoaxer or had the impudence to make a misjudgment on a catastrophic scale, which is much the same thing.

 
Works
About

John Springs was born in Chapeltown, Leeds, in 1962, the son of a Latvian garage owner. After school in Yorkshire, he studied art and drama at Park Lane College, Leeds, before becoming a full-time caricaturist and painter.  His first drawing was published in Arab Times in 1978, when he was eighteen. Since 1980 Springs has contributed to the Spectator - including covers - and his work has also appeared in Literary Review, Tatler, Sunday Times Magazine, Melbourne Age, Listener, Harpers & Queen, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, New Yorker, Independent Magazine, GQ, Times Saturday Review, Esquire, Observer Magazine, Women's Quarterly, New Republic and other publications. Since 1989 he has illustrated "Man in the News" for the Financial Times and from 1992 to 1997 he was resident caricaturist on BBC TV's Newsnight.  Springs uses a fine-nib pen with elaborate cross-hatching and sometimes also works in watercolour, gouache and oil paint. "I like a good black and white photograph of my subject", he explained in 1989, "lit from above if possible so that it shows off every line and blemish on the face: Then I always start on the left eye and work my way down and around the nose until I finish up on the right eye - by this time I know if I have captured the likeness or not." Springs lists his influences as US illustrator Steve Ditko, William Coldstream, Levine, Rowlandson and Max Beerbohm. His paintings - portraits and landscapes - include a "romantic and allegorical" mural painted for Rules Restaurant, Covent Garden, London. Entitled "The Thatcher Years", it shows Margaret Thatcher as Joan of Arc, celebrating her victory in the Falklands.

POLITICAL UNREST ; BRACING FOR BREXIT!

 It was an irresistible urge to convey the events of that morning in June 2016 as a clumsy deceit. The political mechanism revealed itself to be error-strewn: the big gamble, a misjudgement; the calculating had backfired; the shifty had been caught out. Shocking and morale-sapping for some, the events of “Brexit” became immediate satire even before the “satirists” could digest the situation and get to work stamping their collective foot. These would become the glory days for the opinionated and a battleground of division.

There is a terrible truth in any victory, but this was far from being a hollow one. It’s not the job of the satirist to be charitable, more to distort a situation into something digestible and realistic. A cartoon feels the suffering of its subject matter even when that subject has been exposed as something of a hoaxer or had the impudence to make a misjudgment on a catastrophic scale, which is much the same thing.

We can take a laugh at those who seem to have chanced and lost; as an observer, we can gain ground from it even if we were complicit. There has always been a belief that all words are lies: the use of language an opportunist’s’ charter. Unlike a picture that rings true, even when a person is pictured performing an act that he or she would never do. You could call that an interpretation that cannot be misconstrued. A cartoon or caricature that distorts is not “true” but more of an explanation. The act of satire is in fact a political event in itself: a picture, like words, can do the lying. In a way, this painting is satirizing the satirists: playing them at their own game and all the things they find irresistible.

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

Juan Miguel Palacios

Juan Miguel Palacios