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Satirical art pokes fun at politicians in UK

08-23-2010 09:19 BJT

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In the United Kingdom, making fun of politicians is considered to an important element of the democratic process.

A new exhibition called "Rude Britannia" in London is looking at whether high art and cheap laughs go together.

London's Tate Britain gallery is holding a new display of artistic examples of British wit.

Exhibits range from caricatures of famous politicians to 17th century comic art.

"Rude Britannia" includes paintings, sculptures, film and photography, as well as graphic art.

A new exhibition called "Rude Britannia" in London is looking at whether high art and cheap laughs go together.
A new exhibition called "Rude Britannia" in London is looking at whether high art 
and cheap laughs go together.

Included are Hogarth's famous narrative paintings of the "Harlot's Progress", depicting prostitution in eighteenth-century London.

Some of the country's best known cartoonists and satirists have contributed to the display.

Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe believes that comic art is a great British tradition.

Gerald Scarfe, cartoonist, said, "You know if you think of 'Carry On' films and you think of going right back to Hogarth and Gillray, how they criticized the people in the elite, leaders and the politicians and so forth. And I think that's very healthy really."

One of the more outrageous of the exhibits is a chamber pot with a bust of that great foe of Britain Napoleon inside.

It's not only historical figures who are the targets.

There's former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, lampooned by the 'Spitting Image' television show in the 1980s.

Current prime minister David Cameron is not spared, either.

Nor is former prime minister Tony Blair.

The exhibition runs through September 5th.

Editor:Liu Fang |Source:

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