Caricature/Cartoon – Christine Lagarde – The Managing Director of IMF in Pen and Ink.

Recently, I had begun to feel the need to draw the caricatures of a few women. The readers of my blog would know that I am slightly averse to drawing the caricatures of women, unless of course, an assignment requires me to draw them. My aversion to caricaturing women comes from the extra-dose of vanity that God injected women with. I’ve burnt my hand often by caricaturing women because a caricature seldom makes a woman look prettier than she is…and at the bottom of her heart, every woman wants her picture to make her look prettier – not funnier, not stupider, not more interesting…just prettier. Unfortunately, a caricature does everything but make you look prettier.

While I have caricatured a few women too (Nicole Kidman, Sarah PalinRihanna, Oprah, Kareena Kapoor, Queen Elizabeth II, Michelle Obama, Halle Berry…and a few others,) I’ve always tried to be more of a makeup artist than a caricaturist.

And then, I read about Christine Lagarde.

Christine Lagarde replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn  as the Managing Director of IMF, when Strauss-Kahn had to leave stained by the hotel-maid rape controversy.

Believe it or not, She’s supposed to have the walls of her office covered with her own caricatures. This, I take as a confirmation that she’s fine with being caricatured, and while I don’t think that she’s escaped the clutches of vanity altogether (she wears pencil heels despite being 6 feet tall – that’s what women want – to look taller and better – even the most powerful women of the world,) I think she’ll take my caricaturing effort kindly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I present a simple  Pen-and-Ink caricature of Christine Lagarde, an inspiration to every woman who wants to stand tall and drive another nail into the coffin of gender inequality.

caricature, cartoon, sketch, drawing,portrait of Christine Lagarde the MD of IMF.

Pen and Ink Drawing – Actual Size: 7 inches by 9 inches.

Here’s a quick synopsis of Lagarde’s Life and work.

Christine was born in the family of a French Professor, in 1956.

She studied to be a Labor and Anti-trust Lawyer. Later she became the first woman to lead Baker & McKenzie, a huge law-firm, which predominantly had male lawyers. She also was the French Minister of Finance and was ranked at the best among all Finance Ministers of the world by Financial Times. In 2011, she became the MD of IMF (International Monetary Fund.)

On the personal front, Lagarde has been divorced twice, has two sons, and is currently in a relationship. She loves gym-ming and swimming.

Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel?
Merkel and Lagarde are a loggerheads on the EU Financial Crisis. In a nutshell, Merkel doesn’t want all the EU nations to get together to pay the debt that’s primarily due to the PIGS nations (as Germany being one of the fittest would have to pay the most). On the other hand, Lagarde believes that they should.

The Lagarde Payback Controversy
In a remark that people thought cut below the belt, Lagarde spoke of Greeks “who are trying to escape tax all the time.” Her remarks were interpreted to say that it was payback time for Greece and they generated a lot of negative publicity for her. Lagarde’s f/b page tried to alleviate the situation by saying that Lagarde was, “very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges that are facing.” However, this rubbed people the wrong way yet again.

Here are a couple of interesting links:

And now, an interesting Lagarde Quote on patronizing males 🙂

The best defence when that happens is a very good and solid sense of humour. At the end of the day, they are human beings as well. They have wives, they have daughters,” According to her the best strategy would be to  “grit your teeth and smile“. (Source: This Telegraph Article here.)

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Portraits vs. Caricatures – Some thoughts.

In this post, I’ll differentiate between caricatures and portraits through their intent, structure, and usage.

Portraits – Definition

A portrait is an close approximation of a person’s face/figure in a manner that it captures the person’s attitude and personality. 

Caricatures – Definition

A Caricature is a humorous likeness of a person’s face/figure, created through selective exaggeration of his/her  physiognomy (facial features) and other physical attributes.

(Source: “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” )

Portraits vs. Caricatures – Similarities and Differences

Let us now compare the two definitions.

Here are the similarities…

  • Portraits and Caricatures both have a likeness to their subjects. (Read about Likeness here.)
  • They are both an artist’s interpretation of a person’s face/figure.

and the differences:

  • A Portrait is a close-approximation of the real face/figure, while a Caricature uses selective exaggeration.
  • A Portrait is based on a serious study to capture the mood, while a Caricature creates a humorous likeness.

These differences can be analyzed and reorganized under Intent, Structure, and Usage.

Portraits vs. Caricatures – Intent

They differ in intent, or in the intention with which they were created. Portraits are usually created as a memorabilia. Sometimes they are created to celebrate a person’s status or to mark an occasion. Generally they are created to address the esteem needs of a person.

Caricatures, however, are tight little bundles of humor, wit, or satire. They are created to present the subject in a funny manner. Caricatures ridicule and sometimes even insult the subject. When the objective of a caricature is merely to present the subject in a funny light, selective exaggeration of the features does the job. Ridicule and Insult usually requires that in addition to making the subject look funny, the caricature should also tell a story.

Portraits vs. Caricatures – Structure

Portraits are created by replicating the proportions and the colors as closely as possible. The objective is to achieve 100% likeness (this objective however is seldom met, except in the works of the hyper-realists, perhaps.)

Caricatures on the other hand, are created by exaggerating certain/all the features of the subject. Thus, a long nose becomes longer, small eyes become smaller, light wrinkles go deep, and a jutting chin juts out some more. Such exaggerations aren’t limited only to the face. A man with a slight stoop bends over totally, a woman with a tiny waist ends up with almost no waist at all.

Portraits vs. Caricatures – Usage

Portraits find their place on the walls of  the living-rooms, the conference halls, the important buildings…in fact, portraits bring forth the need to respect or at least acknowledge the subject of the painting. If you see a portrait of someone in a certain place, you can be sure that the subject of the portrait is/was an important person for the inhabitants of that place.

Caricatures often have a shorter life and generally people don’t want to display them in prominent places. Political/celebrity caricatures are often created for magazines and newspapers so that they may print them alongside to present a witty/humorous angle to their features and stories. Individuals too sometimes get their caricatures done, usually to mark an occasion (such as marriages, birthdays, etc.) Quickly drawn, sketch-caricatures are often drawn live. Live-caricatures are often used to spice up parties and other such events.

To sum up, Portraits and Caricatures are different in more ways than one 🙂

Now the Spoiler:

If we look at the dictionary definition of Portraits, we’d be stumped to discover that portraits aren’t necessarily required to be “close approximations.”

Here’s what my table-dictionary has to say:

A portrait is – ” pictorial representation of a person showing the face.”

So, technically speaking, a caricature too is a portrait 🙂