Yankee Doodles: Obama Cartoons


Written by Kieron Monks
16 Saturday 16th May 2009

The gallery, which recently curated Browned off, a study of Gordon Brown, have once again pulled out all the stops to ensure a varied and powerful collection. Bringing together heavyweights such as Bell, Martin Rowson (both Guardian), Dave Brown (Independent) and Peter Brookes (Times), the result is a fair representation of what chinks the British press could find in Obama's armour.

A common approach is to satirise the public, suckered into communal fawning over the new messiah. In many depictions Obama is a little boy lost, wide eyed and unready for the dark, seedy corridors of power.

Not much of the artwork attacks Obama directly, perhaps wise in the current, optimistic mood. In February the New York Post were forced to apologise over their cartoon depiction of the president as a chimp - proof that few are willing to share in jokes at his expense. Indeed Yankee Doodles is far more scathing in its treatment of his adversaries.

The collection is worth visiting for some extremely creative and funny pieces of art. This gallery has become home for most of Britain's best cartoonists, all adept at turning complex issues into brilliant slapstick. If you haven't seen them before, you should.

Yankee Doodles is on display at the Political Cartoon Gallery until 13 June.

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