Gerald Scarfe

Gerald Scarfe

Infobox Artist
bgcolour = #EEDD82
name = Gerald Scarfe

imagesize = 250px
caption = Gerald Scarfe with wife, Jane Asher
birthname = Gerald Anthony Scarfe
birthdate = Birth date and age|1936|6|1|mf=y
location = St John's Wood, London, England [GRO Register of Births: SEP 1936 1a 774 HAMPSTEAD, Gerald A. Scarfe, mmn = Gardner]
deathdate =
deathplace =
nationality = English
field = Editorial cartoon, Drawing, Animation
training =
movement =
works = "The Wall" (1982)
patrons =
awards =

Gerald Anthony Scarfe, CBE (born 1 June, 1936 in St John's Wood, London) is an English cartoonist and illustrator. He is best known for his work with Pink Floyd, particularly "The Wall", and as an editorial cartoonist for The Sunday Times and an illustrator for The New Yorker.

He is married to Jane Asher, whom he met in 1971 and married in 1981 [GRO Register of Marriages: SEP 1981 13 1708 KEN&CHELSEA - Scarfe = Asher] . They had a daughter in 1974 and two sons in 1981 and 1984.

Early life

Scarfe was severely asthmatic as a child. He spent many of his early years bedridden, and drawing became a means of entertainment as well as a creative outlet. It has been speculated that the grotesque and diseased images that often characterise his work are a result of these experiences. He has himself stated that the irreverence apparent in much of his work can be traced back to “dodgy treatments” and a reliance on what he feels were incompetent doctors. [ [ Gerald Scarfe interview at The Beaver Online] ]

He moved to Hampstead when 14, being influenced by the work of Ronald Searle. He went to Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (also part of the University of the Arts London) on "Southampton Row" (A4200) in Holborn, central London. He also went to the London College of Printing and East Ham Technical College (became Newham College of Further Education).


Early work

After briefly working in advertising, a profession he grew to dislike intensely, Scarfe's early caricatures of public figures were published in satirical magazine "Private Eye" throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In the mid 1960s he took a job at the Daily Mail following a Dutch auction for his services with the Daily Express. His decision to work for the Daily Mail led to his estrangement from fellow cartoonist Ralph Steadman, alongside whom he had studied art at East Ham Technical College. Soon after, Steadman was commissioned to illustrate Scarfe and produced an image that was half saint and half Superman, but with a disconnected heart. [ [ Ralph Steadman biography at the British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent] ] Scarfe spent just a year working for the Daily Mail, during which time he was sent to provide illustrations from the Vietnam War.

Pink Floyd and Roger Waters

Scarfe was approached to work with Pink Floyd after Roger Waters and Nick Mason both saw his animated BBC film "A Long Drawn Out Trip". Scarfe's first work for the band was a set of animated short clips used on the Wish You Were Here tour, including a full-length music video for the song "Welcome to the Machine." [ [ "A Long Drawn-Out Trip: An Interview with Gerald Scarfe" by Michael Simone Reprinted from REG Magazine, Issue #22] ] He also drew the cover illustration for their 1979 album "The Wall", and in 1982 worked on the film version of The Wall, although he and Waters fell out with director Alan Parker during the latter stages of editing. As well as the artwork, Scarfe contributed 15 minutes worth of elaborate animation to the film, including a sequence depicting the German bombing campaign over England during World War II, set to the song "Goodbye Blue Sky". He was also involved in the theatrical adaptation, including The Wall Concert in Berlin, where his animations were projected on a vast scale.

He continued to work with Roger Waters when the latter left Pink Floyd, creating the graphics and animation for Waters' solo album "The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking" (1984) and its supporting tour.

Scarfe's collaboration with Waters is a celebrated one in rock history and in August 2008, was marked by the release of a signed limited-edition eight-print series, "Scarfe On The Wall", which contains a monograph book (with an extended new interview with Scarfe) signed by Roger Waters as part of the collection.

Yes Minister

He provided caricatures of Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds (as their respective characters) for the opening and closing sequences of "Yes Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister". Derek Fowlds reportedly attempted to purchase Scarfe's original sketches, but they were too expensive.


Scarfe was approached to work on the 1997 Disney film "Hercules" by Ron Clements and John Musker, long time fans of his who had risen to prominence within Disney following the success of "The Little Mermaid". Scarfe worked as a conceptual character artist, designing almost all of the characters and then supervising the 900 Disney artists charged with adapting his designs for the film.

Millennium Dome Sculpture

He was invited to create a sculpture for the Millennium Dome, which was entitled "Self Portrait". The Dome's chief executive PY Gerbeau said "it mirrors what we like - and what we don't - about our nation". [ [ BBC News Tour the Dome] ]


Scarfe has designed sets for a number of operatic productions, including an adaptation of Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox. Following a chance meeting at a BBC prom he worked with Peter Hall on his version of Mozart's The Magic Flute, which drew critical acclaim. He is lined up to provide animation for "Jim Steinman's Bat out of Hell", a stage show featuring Steinman's music. [ entry incorrectly dated July 20, 06: 603PM. It was actually posted 20 Oct 2006. ]

Awards and accolades

On November 22, 2005 the United Kingdom's Press Gazette named its 40 most influential journalists, and included Scarfe alongside just two other cartoonists, Carl Giles, and Matt Pritchett. [ [ Media Bulletin] ]

Scarfe was awarded Cartoonist of the Year at the British Press Awards 2006.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. [LondonGazette |issue=58729 |date=14 June 2008 |startpage=8 |supp=yes |notarchive=yes]


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Scarfe On The Wall]

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