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CARICATURES BY JOSÉ CABALLERO, EMBLEM OF AN EPOCH

Starting October 16, Sala Aifos will host the exhibition Cronista de la ironía (‘Irony
Chronicler’) by José Caballero (Alicante, 1915), built on almost a century of caricatures
that the author has made throughout his life. Important members of the social and
cultural life in Alicante, such as Arcadio Blasco, José Beviá, Carlos Mateo, Enrique
Cerdán Tato; UA professors such as José Costa, Juan Rico or Antonio Mula; famous
thinkers, writers and artists among whom Picasso, Camilo José Cela, Azorín, Eusebio
Sempere, Josep Pla or Luis García Berlanga, and political figures such as Rita
Barberá or François Mitterrand, are all part of this exhibition which is open until
November 14.

Endowed with an enviable sense of humour, Caballero started drawing at an early age:
‘When I was young, I used to produce a sort of comic strip, accompanied by some
poor attempts at perfect rhyme’, he explains ironically. As he himself states, Caballero
has never dedicated himself professionally to caricature; drawing has always been ‘a
hobby, and I still can’t understand how I managed to keep all my drawings’. As for
caricature as an art, the author highlights that he prefers ‘schematism’. ‘Caricature is
based on exaggerating traits, and men usually take this more lightly than women,
who can end up not talking to you’, he comments amusedly.

With his strokes, he has managed to reflect the most influential personalities in
sociocultural and political life for over a century, as well as a gallery of unknown people
who ‘drew his attention’, and whom the public can see, thanks to Beatriz Inés, initiator
of the exhibition, Mario Ramiréz, exhibition commissioner, as well as Pere Reig and
Mariano Sánchez Soler, who have gathered the caricatures and made up the catalogue.
As Caballero explains in the catalogue’s postscript, ‘I made the caricatures out of pure
fun, and I enjoyed this a lot. However, I never once considered them worth
publishing’. They are well worth it, nonetheless, both as works of art and as
reflections of an epoch, and after having traveled through the province, these caricatures
are now on display at Sala Aifos.

VEU - Cultural Magazine of the University of Alicante


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