"Too many people don’t know what the [heck] a cartoon is about," says cartoonist Pat Oliphant in a Wall Street Journal piece by Ann Landi (3/18/14). "You’re not doing your job if you’re not [ticking] people off," he explains. With that in mind, one of Pat’s recent cartoons depicts New Jersey Governor Chris Christie "as the outsize emperor Nero, with one arm resting on the George Washington Bridge and the background filled with shady-looking mob types." (image) "Chris Christie just came up out of nowhere," says Pat. "He was a real gift."
Then there’s Pat’s cartoon of "Hillary Clinton as a bosomy feline with a wineglass full of cream next to her cushion," (image) and his depiction of Barack Obama "as an Easter Island statue." (image) "I found him very enigmatic and stone-faced," Pat says. "You just couldn’t penetrate him." About his oeuvre, Pat says: "Politics is very boring … The people are all the same now. They’re all bastards now, but it’s what’s kept me going for so many years." Now 78, Pat has been at his craft for 60 years, having won "virtually every award in his field, including a Pulitzer Prize."
Pat doesn’t see much future in his craft, though: "It’s a dying art because nobody knows what to do with it anymore," he says. "Stirring up the animal was always the fun part, and now you’ve got timorous publishers and editors who shy away from controversy because it affects the bottom line." But he continues to sharpen his edge, drawing three cartoons a week, such as a relatively recent "sketch of Anthony Weiner, flashing the goods to a mob screaming in horror, titled, ‘Some Minor Distractions’." (image) His cartoons and other work currently are on display at Gerald Peters Gallery in New York.