...............The Indian Institute of Cartoonists is organising Strokes and Slashes—an exhibition of the works of Mr. Gireesh Vengara a well known cartoonist at the Indian Cartoon Date: April 25 to May 9................
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Glimpse into powerful strokes

Social commentary

Glimpse into powerful strokes

Gireesh describes himself as a Bangalore-based cartoonist, artist, creative designer and ex-sulker whose lines, strokes and colours are his tools, play things and weapons.

Cartoons should be one of the most important weapons in a newspaper’s armoury of political analysis.There was a time when in-house cartoonists were highly respected members of the editorial staff of every newspaper worth its salt. In fact, a cartoonist was a journalist who could draw his thoughts which were mostly original, incisive and succinct commentaries of the social and political scenario of the time. Sadly, today the role of a cartoonist has been usurped by paid artists who draw to order and merely to illustrate an article,” that was senior journalist John Thomas addressing the gathering at Strokes and Slashes, an exhibition of political cartoons by Gireesh Vengara.

Gireesh describes himself as a Bangalore-based cartoonist, artist, creative designer and ex-sulker whose lines, strokes and colours are his tools, play things and weapons. He uses his art to reflect and comment on the political scenario in the country.

Unlike a news article or column, a cartoon has the capacity to almost instantaneously dissect or highlight a political issue and can often have more impact and insight than wordy text-based analysis by the greatest political analysts in the country. Gireesh’s first cartoon appeared in Malayala Manorama and since then in several other publications. This exhibition was a study of well-known political figures and situations caricatured and represented with irony and satire.

From Advani to Sonia Gandhi and several politicians and their henchmen in between, there is plenty of substance to keep the cartoon buff entertained. The exhibition was inaugurated by Balan Nambiar, the Bangalore-based artist.
“The political cartoon can be a devastating weapon, making readers laugh out loud in agreement or writhe with frustration and anger. To create a cartoon that strikes a chord with the public requires inspiration, lateral thinking, and the ability to see humour where others see only ‘news’,” he says.
“To do it consistently everyday, takes a certain type of mind and intelligence. Therefore, if cartooning, an intelligent and satirical art form, is not given its due place in society and cartoonists were relegated to the position of artisans, the craft as we know it may soon die out and be lost forever. Great cartoonists like Murthy and Maya Kamath may never emerge from future generations of talented journalists who should be nurtured and groomed right from journalist school,” John Thomas added.

Cartoons take a dig at politics ( Deccan Chronicle)

Cartoons take a dig at politics

People crib and cry about the things theydon’t like, but Gireesh Vengara decided to make the world smile and take notice of the things he didn’t like about politics. The result was an acclaimed cartoonist in the making. After working for daily publications, he has decided to showcase all his collections, with the backing of The Indian Institute of Cartoonists.

His cartoons are based on political satires. In the midst of elections, they manage to make you smile and address issues at the same time. Talking about his approach, he says, “All my cartoons are based on politics and what better time to have an exhibition than now, when elections are the talk of town. All of them are against political illnesses that I feel strongly against and I want the audience to connect with that,” says Gireesh.

Gireesh started cartooning at a young age and his first cartoon was published when he was in his teens. After that, there was no turning back. Every illustration is conceived and created solely by him. Talking about the process, he says, “Drawing the cartoon is easy, forming the concept and its social and political relevance is what takes time. All my cartoons have been appreciated by people and have also been approved by the editorial board of the paper I worked with, so I’m very happy.” With over 70 old and new cartoons on display, get ready for a rib-tickling session.

His exhibition Strokes and Slashes is on at the Indian Cartoon Gallery, No.1, Midford House, Midford Garden, Off MG Road, near Big Kids Kemp