A CULTURE OF CARICATURE

The selection process for float designs at the Carnaval de Nice is still a mystery to me, but was fortunate to have four more floats chosen for the 2018 Carnival: "The King of Space." Cedric Pignataro, one of the sculptors for the carnival, is busy at work creating the characters for The Planet of the Apes float - his caricatures seem to not only capture the likeness of these politicians, but also express their psychologies too. The French have always seemed to appreciate caricature as a respected art form. Honore Daumier was one of the first political cartoonists of the modern age, and in 1832 was sentenced to six months in prison for his satirical drawings of King Louis Philippe. Jean Pierre-Dantan was a noted sculptor, and contemporary of Daumier, who also focused on caricature, selling small busts of 19th Century celebrities at his little shop in the Passage des Panoramas in Paris. Cedric and the other craftsmen are continuing this cultural legacy into the 21st Century. I can't help but admire a culture that is willing to take humor and absurdity seriously, and hope this tradition, along with the artistic skills, will pass on to the next generation. Regarding the selection process, I can only imagine some amount of absinthe must be involved.

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