Monday, 1 September 2014

Sokol: Master Caricaturist








". . . he started working for Playboy while he was on a scholarship in Chicago in the fifties when he was in his early twenties. Playboy paid him so well, that he was able to travel the world and stay financially secure for his entire life. Except for a break in the seventies and eighties, he worked for the magazine until his death. 'Financially secure' and 'paid well' are two phrases that you rarely hear in conjunction with illustration. Sokol was an identical twin and looked exactly the same as his brother who you can see in the interview. Back to watching the remaining bit now...
according to his daughter and the other interviewees Sokol was a very loud and larger than life personality who drank, smoked and ate too much. The daughter says he had no talent for being a father but lived in his own world, either at his drawing desk or in the pub, drinking with other colleagues from the Austrian media scene. His colleagues say that he was a genius with a sharp eye and wit but very difficult to work with. Sokol suffered from depression because the 'serious' art world rejected his attempts at fine art and that bugged him all his life. Searle had the same problem. It sounds like Sokol was a very intense personality and only concerned with his work, like so many genius artists.
in the bit of footage that shows Sokol at work, he mentions that he sometimes has 60 photos of a person he intends to caricature to study every angle of the personality. Intense research...

Translation by Uli Meyer

When Sokol met Searle


Frau Gisela Vetter-Liebenow,the directrice of the Karikatur Museum, Hanover sent me this wonderful picture of Sokol with Ronald Searle. She said Sokol was VERY nervous to met his hero.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013



'Well if this doesn't work we'd damn sure better get the net ready' 
signed 'Sokol' (lower center), Playboy, approval, and publishing stamps on recto, titled in pencil in upper margin
gouache on illustration board 
17¼ x 12. 5/8 in. (43.8 x 32 cm.) 
RUN DATE: May 1962. 












'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus'
signed 'Sokol' (lower left), Playboy stamp on verso, printed caption below image, matted
gouache on illustration board
16½ x 12¼ in. (42.1 x 31.3 cm.)
RUN DATE: January 1963 




















'Gosh -- you mean some girls have zones that aren't erogenous?'
signed 'Sokol' (bottom center), fragment of typed caption taped below image, Playboy stamp on verso and on protective overleaf
gouache on illustration board
19 x 14¼ in. (48.1 x 36.4 cm.)
RUN DATE: November 1973.