I have always admired caricature, the ability to create a ‘likeness’ through a total distortion/exaggeration of the subject’s features, not least because, although I have been known to get the odd likeness in portraiture (2D not 3D), I just do not have this skill! So, when given the project to design an object or objects that pays homage to a painter,  Honore Daumier, (1808 – 1879), the French 19th century political caricaturist, automatically sprang to mind.

My favourite image is his embodiment of Louis Philippe, the then citizen king of France, as a pear; “Poire” being the French slang for simpleton! In fact Daumier caricatured all the major political figures of his time and was even imprisoned briefly, in 1832, for his caricatures of Louis Philippe (the French have no sense of humour when it come to laughter at their expense!)

Most of his work was two dimensional but he also did some portrait busts which show the typical caricaturist’s elements of exaggeration. This gave me the idea of reproducing our current political leaders ‘a la Daumier’ and immediately the image of “Kim Beasley au Poire” (who else?:) sprang to mind.


"Louis-Philippe au Poire"

"Kim Beasley au Poire"

"Homage to Indigenous Australia !"

"Another of the species politician" !

"His Alter Ego!"

Some of the "caricatures" on display at Hornsby TAFE's Spring into Art open day in September 2006.

Not wishing to seem factional, I have attempted to lampoon both sides of the political spectrum, taking advantage of certain similarities that John Howard’s physiognomy has with indigenous Australians (and his lack of empathy with them)! The intent behind these images is simply to demonstrate my low regard for politicians in general, regardless of their position in the political spectrum.

The choice of a metallic bronze glaze was an ironic gesture to “elevate” caricature to the heroic status of the classical sculptural tradition !