What’s in a Word? Breaking Down the Word, “Caricature”

In this blog, we’ve covered a lot of topics, things like political unrest, art therapy and the ecstatic philosophy behind caricature. For this post, I want to change gears for a bit and focus on something very specific – that is, the title of a news article. Yes, a headline.

You see, at Mark Hall Caricature Art Inc., we’re fascinated by everything related to caricature and that includes how the term “caricature” is used in popular culture. You often see it in the headlines being used as a derogatory term, usually aimed at a politician. Other times, it’s used to represent a misunderstanding of sorts, such as someone not having a clear understanding of a situation or a person – “She treats the President as if he’s a caricature; she doesn’t understand anything about him.”

Clearly, the term is used a lot, primarily in a negative sense. A recent headline, however, really caught our eye. In his review of the book, The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom, Michael Sean Winters writes, “Any account that, like Black’s, fails to take note of the antecedents in Christian thought to Enlightenment ideas about church-state relations and the rights of conscience becomes a kind of caricature.” This is a heady statement for sure. In this case, “caricature” seems a bit negative, doesn’t it?

Well, the review is entitled, “Correcting a caricature with a caricature.” This title takes the negative implications of caricature and really turns it on its head. See, the only way to fix a misguided portrayal is digging deeper and providing another caricature. That’s the strength and beauty of caricature – it’s a tool used to understand yourself and the world a little better. It corrects mistakes and shows us the truth.

However, more important than all of that is the therapeutic qualities of caricature; positive caricatures educates and inspires us ALL. Just look at a few of my caricature drawings and see for yourself. See how I’ve been able to extract the benevolence and good nature inside each subject, spinning it in a humorous and sidesplitting manner?

What do you think? Is caricature positive OR negative? I think you know how I feel on the subject…you will want to contact Mark V. Hall of Caricature Art Inc. to help reveal the better YOU.