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Updated: February 2, 2012 20:10 IST

Crafty lines for crafty netas

Harshini Vakkalanka
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Chalo Dilli: Yeddyurappa’s political strategy captured in a few strokes
Chalo Dilli: Yeddyurappa’s political strategy captured in a few strokes

T.F. Hadimani's caricatures and portraits are endearing in their thoroughness

One look at T.F. Hadimani's caricatures titled “Faces: The Art of Caricature” at the Cartoon Gallery will give the viewer the low-down on India's who's-who. Hadimani manages to convey the different moods of his subjects through his caricatures and portraits in different mediums.

His list of subjects includes almost all the faces of Indian politics including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, some of the most popular Congress personalities, Karunanidhi, Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, Bal Thackeray, Lalu Prasad Yadav and the horde of regional politicians who have become national figures.

There are caricatures of India's spiritual personalities — Sri Sri Ravishankar, Baba Ramdev, Mata Amritanandamayi, Nithyananda, the Dalai Lama and Jayendra Saraswati.

Baba Ramdev is contemplating on politics with the list of party symbols orbiting his head like stars and Nithyananda is wearing a sleazy grin, blessing people with a pair of handcuffs dangling from his hands.

There are singers — Gangubhai Hangal with her toothless smile greets with a Namaste, Lata Mangeskar listens as a nightingale sings her “Happy Birthday”, Bhimsen Joshi stares out sombrely.

There are also actors and literary personalities — Salman Rushdie holds a sword-like pen, Amitabh Bachchan speaks into a loudspeaker that emits the fifty (approximately) brands that he's endorsed, Nana Patekar becomes a sculptor.

His list also includes Prince Charles with his love for the Mumbai dabbawallahs, Khushwant Singh and his evening whiskey, and M.T. Vasudevan Nair with his beedi.

“I enjoy doing caricatures because I find these personalities interesting,” says Hadimani. His caricatures adapt to their context, in terms of mood and medium. So portraits in watercolour, charcoal, ink or even oil sometimes replace the caricatures. His caricatures are more reflective than they are biting. They are endearing, all the same, in their thoroughness.

“News is what drives these caricatures, so they need to suit the situation. For instance, Bhimsen Joshi was a serious personality and on the occasion of his death, it is only appropriate to create a portrait rather than a caricature,” he explains.

Hadimani graduated from the Fine Art College in Dharwad and joined “Suddi Sangaati” as an illustrator before joining “Lankesh Patrike”, where he began working as a caricaturist. Later he joined “The Week”, where he became the chief illustrator. All the works displayed in the exhibition have been published in “The Week”.

“News inspires me. I read the news and refer to a lot of photographs before working on my caricature. I believe that caricatures should tell the story and support the text they are accompanying.”

“Faces: The Art of Caricature” will be on view at the Indian Cartoon Gallery, 1, Midford House, Midford Garden, Near Kids Kemp, off M.G. Road, until February 21. For more information, call 41758540 or 25595252.

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