B.V. Satyamurthy’s cartoons are endearing with their simple humour
The exhibition of cartoons by the 74-year-old, Hyderabad-based Telugu cartoonist B.V. Satyamurty combines text and simple, highly graphic lines to create an image that is laced with obvious humour.
The exhibition features cartoons from over three different collections: the ‘quality’ collection which is based on quotations on quality by different authors, a collection based on cartoons published in the daily newspaper Skyline and a series of Telugu cartoons published in regional magazines.
Among the cartoons based on quality quotations are those such as “Do your job right the first time” where a man about to be axed to death tells the king, “Sir please do it right the first time” when asked what his last wish is. Some of the other quotes he infuses with humour are “Quality breeds quality” where he shows a weel-endowed couple with their equally fat child waiting at a bus stop. But the most memorable cartoons are those such as “Knowledge may be a source of power but half-knowledge always spells disaster” where he shows a surgeon rifling through his “surgery” book while his terrified patient looks on. The cartoon showing a whole section of a car being opened for its rotund owner getting down is also equally funny; it carries the quote “Specific problems require specific solutions”.
Many of the Skyline cartoons are also quite telling in a very endearingly native style, especially the political cartoons such as the one depicting a minister announcing at a meeting: “I am constituting a one-man commission with myself to look into these so-called irregularities said to have been committed by my worthy self.” Or the one showing a politician standing on the pedestal in place of a statue, bending down to receive a garland. The dialogue between two people among the audience reads: “His statue is not ready, sir. He obliged to stand in its place for the time being.”
While some of the English cartoons are over 30 years old, the Telugu cartoons are quite recent. “I developed my own style inspired by the senior cartoonist Bapu, whom I consider a legend,” says Satyamurthy, who has spent a considerable part of his life working on graphic design as part of his long-running advertising agency based in Hyderabad. Many of his cartoons and picture stories including cartoon features like Chaduvulrao and Allatappayya have been published in Telugu publications. He has also published a bi-lingual book How to Draw Cartoons.
B.V. Satyamurty’s cartoons will be on display until Mach 23 at the Indian Cartoon Gallery, 1, Midford House, Midford Garden, off M. G. Road, Trinity Circle. For details, contact 41758540.