Gerald Scarfe’s work is very familiar. His political cartoons still appear in the Sunday Times, he drew the title sequence for ‘Yes Minister’ and, of course, he came up with the cover for the Pink Floyd album ‘The Wall’. Familiar and yet he has rarely sold his original artwork, preferring to keep them. Now Sotheby’s have managed to persuade him to put some of those originals up for sale. Before they go under the hammer you can pop along to see them at Scarfe at Sotheby’s.
The first thing that you see at Scarfe at Sotheby’s is a reproduction of that wall from the Pink Floyd video hung with the drawings for animated video.
The Junior CW’s were a bit bemused by their mother making cryptic pronouncements about just another brick in the wall. They really like political cartoons which is why we came to Scarfe at Sotheby’s. In truth they were just as bemused by the cast of 80’s politicians in the early works. Luckily Michael Heseltine has been in the news recently and I’d explained about his Tarzan moment.
Gerald Scarfe also designed posters and costumes for the theatre. This poster for ‘Serious Money’ by Caryl Churchill took me back to when I first came down to London and went to see the play.
More up to date is this series of cartoons inspired by Brexit and Donald Trump. Because the cartoons were created to be seen in newspapers and not hung on the wall, corrections made in Tippex are visible on many of them, showing where Gerald Scarfe decided that a line would be better placed a few millimetres away from the original.
All one hundred and thirty-four images on display are for sale. Most have an estimate of between £3,000 and £6,000, too rich for our blood! Most expensive of all is the last portrait made of Winston Churchill in his lifetime. Gerald Scarfe was commissioned by the Sunday Times to draw the former Prime Minister to mark his retirement from the House of Commons; six months later he was dead. Winston Churchill has an estimate of £100,000 to £150,000 but I suspect that eager bidders may push the prices of all the lots higher.
SCARFE AT SOTHEBY’S
EXHIBITION: 1 April 2017 – 4 April 2017
AUCTION: 5 April 2017 10.30am