The Fine Art of Dermacartooning

On Facebook Riber Hansson has questioned Putin's preference for stripping off to strut his nudity for the world to see. What is left to the cartoonists, when their position as the child in The Emperor's New Clothes is lost to them?  Is it even legal to put cartoonists in such a situation, Riber asked teasingly?

Before us, we have a fight on FORM.

Putin is attempting to appear nude, re-formed as it is, in a "balanced, prosperous and confident body: The body re-formed" to quote Kenneth Clark and his 1956-study "of ideal art": The Nude. To paraphrase Dr. Clark, we are not meant to judge a half-naked Putin as a living organism; he intends us to see him as a piece of design. His body as an art form.

For that very reason, he is keeping the cartoonists busy.

Putin's being naked is exposed as just another means of dressing up to show off. To stay with Clark, the cartoonists keep pointing to the fact that he is naked, not nude. While Putin is attempting at heroism in the ideal of the sportsmen of Antiquity or the massive thighs in Michelangelo's works, the cartoonists are drawing the attention away from his actual body shape to the fact of his need to show skin.

To take three takes on dermacartooning, presently the Putinian skin:

1. The Repetition, taking him up on his own imagery and letting him stay naked. Continuously so and this time not when and where for him to decide. Michel Kichka pastes in the very same figure into any scenery. Below Putin is exhibiting that vanity and those pretentions such as his desire to sign on to #PanamaPapers, since he finds he fits right in being a sporty billionaire statesman.

Exposing his vanity and pretentions is not a case of belittling, but of undressing his agenda. Putin may be as vain as he wishes to, just as The Emperor in his dishabille is never a question of his personal vanity, but the caliber of his rule. The undress is a gift from Putin to the political cartoonists to bare his agenda on aspirations for all to be seen:

Michel Kichka, Panama Papers, April 4, 2016.

2. The above applies for Re-dressing him as well. As in attempting to get a bit of a bear going on in a cartoon by Riber Hansson himself, with the aid of artificials. In this case glue to take on the greater history. His aspirations are all the more haunting seeing the lengths he needs to go to achieve his masculinity.

The scene is an intimate one on what we are not meant to see, since the very situation of dressing unveils his agenda. Unwelcome to him he is thus kept undressed to our eyes.

To add to his dethroning; that is a standard pair of scissors from IKEA on the floor.

Riber Hansson, Putin Frightening the World with the Russian Bear, April 17, 2014.

3. And then there is the matter of un-dressing him further, pealing him, revealing what is Underneath his skin.

The furless rat is as naked as a mammal can get and to a degree that we cannot think of anything but at the sight of such a specimen of which this one by Oleksiy Kustovsky is certainly showing off his dearest geographical feed leaking and reeking before us:

Oleksiy Kustovsky, Red Rat Putin, November 25, 2014.

The fact is, "We wants it, we needs it":

Oleksiy Kustovsky, Gollum Putin, May 30, 2016.

The cartoons shown are courtesy of their cartoonists and must not be reproduced without their permission.

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