Daniel Q. Adel

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As a small child, I was never afraid of monsters or ghosts, but I was indeed terrified of Daniel Adel’s illustration on the front of the book The Book That Jack Wrote. The book was set up on my dresser in my room as a decoration (probably because it had my name on it). The cover had a man on it with the most sinister smile and wearing an Ottoman fez cap like the bad guys from Indian Jones. I would always ask my mom to turn the book around at night because I didn’t want the creepy man watching me sleep. Over time I learned to get over the fear of this illustration and started to appreciate Adel’s unbelievable talent. Although the book is for children, I highly recommend at least looking at the pictures because every single one is interesting and imaginative. I chose to talk about Dan Adel’s artwork not only because he is talented but also because his work is creative and represents views on society.

I think Adel stands out as a painter and illustrator because of his unique way of mingling both comedy and disproportion into a piece. Adel is known as a caricaturist, which means he depicts people with exaggerated characteristics for comical effect. Most of the subjects in his pieces have huge heads and really big teeth. You will notice if you visit the link below, that he paints a lot of celebrities and politicians. One painting most of you will most likely recognize is the picture of George Bush he illustrated for the cover of Time Magazines “Person of the Year” issue. The fact he portrays famous people in a satirical light appeals to me, because unlike paparazzi photographs or entertainment TV, he portrays celebrities and politicians as he and others see them whether it’s positively or negatively.

Another aspect of Adel’s work I really like are the colors he uses. Adel uses very rich and vibrant colored oil paints, which makes his painting almost pop off the page. You will find a lot of subordination in the background of his paintings in the form of solid colors or lack of detail to act as a rest area for your eyes. I also noticed the color red is used in almost all of his caricatures as well.

A good link

Questions:

  • Why does Adel focus his caricatures on politics and celebrities?
  • Do you think his grotesque pictures are seen positively or negatively from viewers?
  • Would you see his art as false propaganda or truth?

Jack Rea

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14 thoughts on “Daniel Q. Adel

  1. I think Adel focuses his work on politics and celebrities to depict, like you said, society’s perspective of these powerful figures in a light hearted manner. I believe art is used to show truth in our society, so whether it is positively or negatively illustrated, it shows the truth one way or another.

  2. I think some of the caricatures are seen as funny, rather than positive or negative. Most of them are light and comical, even if they are making fun of something.
    As I was looking through the gallery the painting of Santa caught my eye because of his glasses. Everything is very soft and cartoonish, but the glasses look sharp and real. I love the detail he uses.

  3. This is satire at its best. I love all of the detail he puts into his work to emphasize reality but at the same time distorts some parts of the body for the comedic effect, for example drawing Jim Carrey with a big head…meaning he is self centered and thinks highly of himself, especially since he’s touching a statue of his head and is laughing what seems to be a very cynical laugh. I can see why you felt that drawing on the book was creepy, because it totally is. I believe the scariest things are those that are not meant to be obviously freaky, and this is just one of those things. I don’t see this as truth of false, because it’s whatever he believes and what he thinks of these people. It’s how he thinks they are portraying themselves, he’s just highlighting the parts that stand out to him the most. I feel it’s his way of expressing his thoughts and beliefs of the world around us without having to verbally say anything.

  4. I think Adel uses political figures because they are an easy target and it gets a lot of attention plus puts his work on a national stage. It looks like when he is creating his works he is making a statement about them by over dramatizing certain aspects of the person. Like the picture of Osbournes found on the link he insulating Sharon by making her head extremely large.

  5. I’ve always enjoyed caricature and the cartoons that usually go along with them, mostly political. The disproportion used by artists like Adel usually shows the person in an over-exaggerated form which can be combined with overemphasizing one of their latest statements or issues.

    I think politicians are singled out as targets for this type of drawing because they have chosen to put themselves in the public spotlight in a way that effects most peoples’ lives. Also, there is a history of drawing caricature of politicians. Before TV and the internet, newspapers were one of if not the main source of news. Newspapers had production artists who would draw portrayals of people in the headlines, including many politicians, as part of their daily publications.

  6. His type of art seems very comical and interesting to look at. I think that Adel focuses on celebrities and politicians because maybe he wants to portray them in a different way then everyone sees them or to possible lighten up the subject of them because more of the time the talk about them is serious and business related.

  7. I think Adel uses political figures because they you are able to interpret them in many different ways. It also appeals to a bigger audience because it could be talked about all over the world.

  8. Caricature has a long history in art and I’m SO glad you bring it up! Actually the picture at the top of the blog is by a famous artist who did caricatures. I think political figures are totally fair game!

  9. very great !! definitely see the sense of humor in all the paintings especially in the link you provided, for the first question to my understanding he probably wants his paintings to be seen by millions and talked throughout the media, second it not gruesome when the painting is based on truth. excellent choice ? may I ask how is it the u got the bookdo u sstill have it

  10. I would be pretty scared of that book too. Famous people are always a comical target and perfect for caricature in my opinion. I see his art as truth in a comical lighthearted way.

  11. I think this is an interesting topic. I think the reason he does it for politicians and celebrities is because peope are framiliar with their faces so they know more aboutthe person. Rather then him drawing random people in carticaures. I think these things are both good and bad depending on the person and how they are depicted. l

  12. I love these caricatures because of the bright colors and almost realistic qualities. I had to look twice to see that they were not actual pictures. They remind me of photographs that have been altered slightly in photoshop or some other program. Very cool. However, it would be easy to use this type of realistic caricature as a substitute to photographs to to use these pictures as propoganda for or against a certain agenda.

  13. I remember looking at these pictures all the time as a kid but for some reason I never bothered trying to gain a better understanding of them. I always thought they exaggerated their heads and body parts simply as a joke and nothing more. As I examine these pictures more deeply, I can see how the artist was trying and convey a message or a personal opinion. Great post Jack.

  14. The colors sure are very vibrant. I think he does that because polticians and celebrities are famous and they grab a lot of attention. Also, some these paintings do look scary!

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