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Home arrow Older News Archive arrow Heroes and Monsters - Gerald Scarfe in Hannover
Heroes and Monsters - Gerald Scarfe in Hannover Print E-mail
Written by Guntmar Ploetzke   
Monday, 23 August 2010

Signed copy of Pink Floyd The Wall - Gerald ScarfeNow open in Hannover, Germany, is the latest Gerald Scarfe exhibition, Heroes and Monsters. It covers his extensive career drawing satirical and political cartoons, alongside work for people like Pink Floyd (such as The Wall).

Our friend, regular BD visitor Guntmar Ploetzke, visited it when Gerald was also there to launch the show, and kindly shares his report with the Floyd community worldwide. Over to Guntmar:

When I entered the Wilhelm Busch Museum in the Georgengarten in Hannover all seats were occupied already. Only a few seats in the middle of front row were vacant but reserved for the guest of honour Mr. Gerald Scarfe and his lovely wife Jane (Asher).

I went on to the front row and stood there and waited for the celebration to start. Not long, only a few minutes and they came in and took their seats with a warm applause from the audience. Gisela Vetter-Liebenow welcomed GS and his wife and we heard a very good laudation on Mr. Scarfe.

We were informed about the life of Gerald Scarfe beginning with his youth and his illness and his great love to drawings in particular the ones of Ronald Searle. There was also a story about Scarfe and Searle and the shyness of young Scarfe against his idol. As a young boy he went to Searle's place but was too shy to ring at his door. Later they became friends and they had dinner one time. On Scarfe's plate he found a little present. It was a little bell on a socket made of wood with these words on it: "Ring!"..."at any time!"

Gerald Scarfe became a well known and famous illustrator and cartoonist. Not only for his reckless illustrations of polititians and celebrities, who often must have been breathless when they saw Scarfe's point of view of their behaviours. Only because they don't want any more attention by means of pictures and lines in the news they might have stayed quiet...

Beside that, his drawings are published periodical in Britain´s press and worldwide too, of course. His drawings can be find in PUNCH, SUNDAY TIMES (for about 40 years!), NEW YORKER and TIME MAGAZINE.

Inside and outside Great Britain his work is very well known by many fans of Pink Floyd and their million seller THE WALL. Gerald Scarfe worked with Roger Waters on The Wall Project (Record/Show/Film) for years hand in hand. In Scarfe's words, they understood each other very well and Roger must have had great confidence in Scarfe's view.

Gerald Scarfe in HannoverThe Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hannover, which covers the most of Gerald Scarfe's works (more than 150 examples), is one of the most extensive Gerald Scarfe exhibitions ever. The “Chairman Mao” chair and other sculptures are there to be seen, too.

Gerald Scarfe then stood up and told us in his own words about the ideas and the work on the Wall Project. The cartoons with the gasmasks were based on his own experiences during WWII "...and the mask is NOT getting more funny with some Mickey Mouse stickers on it...".

The cartoon sequence with the rising flowers was made with double drawings per second (24 instead of 12).

He also told us, that he is actually in touch with Roger Waters for recreating and updating the inflatable puppets and cartoons for the upcoming Wall shows. He did not know if and when these shows will be in Germany but I could help out a little bit and told him and the audience every town where this will happen next year in June.

Due to a good humoured Gerald Scarfe, who always talked in a very clear and understandable English (and with Gisela Vetter-Liebenow translating everything) there were only a few questions left for the audience.

I have had one: Has there ever been a drawing that was not published for being too nasty?

"No, never" he replied. Only a few girls in England didn't liked one of his versions of Mick Jagger. They hated it! They hated it that much they threatened him that they'd cut off his balls for that!

"...They didn't get me..." Gerald Scarfe completed after a pause.

Everyone seemed to be happy to know a little more about the man who must be an institution in England for his perception of the things that happen in our life.

When no questions were left, and GS got great applause, I asked Gerald Scarfe if he'd be so kind and sign my record sleeve of The Wall. He did so without any hesitation.

The exhibition is open every day (11 am to 6 pm) Tuesday to Sunday until October 24th, 2010.

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