Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Kimon Evan Marengo aka Kem: Caricatures

Kimon Evan Marengo (1904-1988) was born and raised in Egypt, in Alexandria, and as a very young man of just 19, for a number of years he was editing and contributing to a weekly political magazine there critical of local politics and public life. He moved to Paris and by his mid-Twenties was illustrating for an impressive range of international papers. He found himself in England at the outbreak of war and was quickly seconded to the foreign office as a Middle East advisor, given the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and ran the 'KEM' Unit which put out propaganda material to the Middle East. Wikipedia suggests he may, in the course of the war drawn and designed 5,000 leaflets, posters and other material in various languages including dialects of Arabic and Persian. His contribution to the war has been judged very considerable and yes, in essence, all he did was to draw and paint pictures. Hardly surprising then that his Doctoral thesis, which he completed after the war was on the cartoon as a political weapon.

These colourful and slightly insane caricatures are from the pre-war 1930s magazines I bought recently, Courier, "Picturing To-Day. Fact. Fiction. Art and Satire". From top to bottom they are David Lloyd George, Hugh Cecil Lowther, Neville Chamberlain, and Alec Baldwin.

More from Courier to come...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These caricatures are memorable and quite unlike the rest of Kem's work. His colour caricatures in "Toy Titans" are very different as are his Christmas cards. You promised to post more, nut that was a while ago.

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