Shijo Varghese's VROOOM that features caricatures of Formula One Drivers was launched in the city recently

Shijo Varghese was racing against time to keep his appointment with Formula One drivers. Last month, this Bangalore-based artist started to work on a book of caricatures featuring F1 drivers — including those racing in the 2011 season — and he wanted to finish it before the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, which gets underway at the end of this month.

The artist has met the self-imposed deadline with a few days to spare. Copies of the book will be presented to the FI racers when they assemble at Noida for the Indian GP. Having received the first copy of VROOOM, as the book is titled, at Focus Art Gallery, Indian F1 racer Karun Chandhok has beat all the others to it. Karun was impressed with the caricatures of the drivers, particularly the one on him.

With VROOOM all set for a spectacular release at Noida, Shijo completes a hat trick of sports-related caricature books in 2011. The other two, Stumped! and Howzatt!, lionise cricketers. Stumped features Indian cricketers who won the 2011 ICC World Cup and the other book is devoted to players of Chennai Super Kings, who won IPL4.

Studying the caricatures in VROOOM, Karun praised Shijo for capturing the subtle features of his subjects. He pointed out how Mark Webber's prominent jaw and Daniel Ricciardio's curly hair have been highlighted. The soft-spoken Narain Karthikeyan is portrayed with a with a broad smile.

Asked about interesting responses to his caricatures, Shijo said Yuvraj autographed his caricature in Stumped! and appended a humorous comment: “I don't have such a big mouth!” At the launch of that book, Harbhajan Singh contorted his face to imitate his look in the caricature.

Life imitating art: Is there a better compliment for an artist?

Details about Shijo's caricatures can be accessed on f1caricatures.com and cricketcaricatures.com.

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012