PRAGUE.- Pragues Kampa Museum has put together two exceptionally interesting exhibitions for this years summer. The first of these is dedicated to the triumvirate of Klimt, Mucha and Kupka with the second focusing on world renowned cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe who rose to fame through his work carried out for Pink Floyd.
This, however, isnt the only cultural activity taking place in Prague connected to the now defunct British band which won millions of fans back in the 60s thanks to its fresh concept of so-called psychedelic rock. At the start of August, former bass guitarist and charismatic composer Roger Waters performed at the O2 Arena as part of his worldwide The Wall tour. Gerald Scarfe collaborated with Waters for many years creating cartoons for him long after hed left Pink Floyd and launched his solo career. In 1984, for instance, he created the graphics for the album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.
Visitors to the Kampa Museum can view over fifty of Scarfes drawings, watercolours and cartoons in total. The main part of the exhibition naturally focuses on his illustrations created for the cult album, The Wall as well as animations he made for a film with the same time. According to him, the entire cycle revolves around the idea of how the individual puts up barriers, a kind of protective wall in front of things that could hurt him. Scarfe began working with Pink Floyd in 1978 with a series of sequences for their In the Flesh tour. Scarfe was made a CBE in 2008. Working as Production Designer, he subsequently contributed to creating the Walt Disney feature film, Hercules.
The London- born artist started out as a war correspondent in Vietnam and India. He went on to work on reporting the developments in divided East-West Berlin. It wasnt until 1967 that he managed to get his dream job as a political cartoonist at the London Sunday Times. The events taking place in the highest governmental circles at that time formed the subject of his later work. It should thus come as no surprise that when filming starting on the Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister series, he was chosen as the person to design the main animations. At the exhibition opening Scarfe stated the following: I believe its very important for us to criticise those in positions of power, for us to be able to caricature politics. Those who play with our lives and pull the strings deserve to be viewed with a critical eye,
His cartoons rank among the best to have emerged in the field over the past half century, both artistically as well as in terms of content. The graphics are simple and easy to recognise while are noted for their overstated tones. Despite presenting clear-cut ideas, however, they never come close to vulgarism or soulless superficiality. Whats more, they capture with unerring accuracy the shortcomings shared by politicians the world over. Perhaps the only, albeit significant problem connected to the exhibition are the small spaces of the former stables due to which the exposition had to be separated into two separate parts. Whether he likes it or not, the visitor is left with no choice but to enter the main building of the Kampa Museum to see the rest. The exposition will be running in Prague until 13th October.