Street Art in Florence - The man-kite

This artwork, unfortunately “vandalized”, can be considered a caricature as it represents a human face, exaggerating some physiognomic features and producing a satirical and humorous effect.  Born in the 1700s and immediately used for political purposes, caricature is a form of art akin to portraiture, cartoon, comics and illustration. The caricaturist is a illustrator who must know how to observe, identify and then modify the real proportions of the different elements of the human figure, exaggerating or distorting them to create the comic effect. But he must also grasp the personality of the subjects to bring out their humorous-satirical side and at the same time keep them recognizable, since we laugh because we recognize. In Tolentino, in the Marche region, there is an International Museum of Caricature, opened in 1970, which preserves 3000 original works by major artists and promotes the Biennial of Caricature and International Humor Art to which 52 nations participate.

Each artist has his own style, some examples among the great: Gerry Gersten played with the "minimum distortion", David Levine with complicated and rich chiaroscuro, Walter Molino with strong chiaroscuro contrasts, Umberto Onorato with  multiple tools (wax coloring, airbrush etc.), Miguel Cavarrubias with bright colors and with the creationg of geometric and grotesque masks, Mario Sironi with the transformation of portraits into monumental sculptures, Paolo Garretto with techniques and materials coming from poster design, Al Hirschfeld withtangles of lines and traces. He was the one who wrote: "there is something almost religious in the pure magic of a line that captures the spirit of a man".

In this work it seems to us that our artist entrusts the caricature effect on the ears, the bright colors, the teeth and the dangling tongue, but the figure maintains symmetry and lightness, demonstrating strong characterization and grotesque impact, despite the fact that we don't get the usual "original subject-caricature-recognition and laughter" effect. Despite the slender neck, this man-kite seems to fly.
Location: Viale Spartaco Lavagnini, Florence.

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