Luc Descheemaeker’s answers via email to our questions are short. He is perhaps a man of few words. Understandable for a cartoonist. Primarily, his communication is through images. They speak. They provoke. They shock. Sample: a sniper taking aim atop an ‘f’ (from the Facebook logo), which is placed at the junction of a floating three-headed surveillance camera. Then, there are a host of Donald Trump cartoons that the US President wouldn’t be very amused to see: Trump as a shark, Trump as a pig, Trump as the deadly extraterrestrial from Alien, Trump in underwear among others.
Luc, who creates these powerful cartoons under the alias O-Sekoer, is a retired art teacher from The Institute of Saint Joseph in Torhout, Belgium. He has won over 300 international cartoon awards. The managing trustee of Indian Institute of Cartoonists (IIC), VG Narendra, says the institute, impressed with Luc’s works, has been wanting to exhibit the Belgian’s work for a while now. After continuously reaching out to him via mails and messages, IIC will finally display his works in their gallery from October 12 to 24.
Ahead of the exhibition, Luc spoke to The Metroplus on his favourite subject, the future of political cartooning and more.
Who is your favourite subject? Why?
Donald Trump. His stupid behavior gives me the inspiration for crazy cartoons and a surreal look at our society. This year one of my works was Grand Prize in the Canadian Comité World Press Freedom Editorial Cartoons Ottawa (Canada) another Trump cartoon was Grand Prize winner in Portugal.
Has the role of a cartoonist changed over the years? If yes, how?
I think it is more dangerous to express in this world. Free expression is a basic requirement to draw a cartoon.
Your cartoons seem edgy. Have you ever worried that the viewer might not get your work?
I like to make a complex image with a sharp idea. The viewer needs some brains. My cartoons are made for 12+ years-old people. I don’t make happy drawings. I’m drawing about the bad world in crazy times.
Should a cartoonist be worried about offending anyone at all? Have you ever held back your work thinking it might be too provocative?
Yes, it happens. Some cartoons could be very controversial.
Can cartoons be objective?
I don’t think so. Because every story in a cartoon is a surrealistic interpretation of a realistic moment.
There are reports about the decline of print media. Do you think it will result in the dearth of political cartoonists?
I hope not. But so many print media are owned by political power. And all political power is afraid of free expression.
Can you name some of your inspirations and say why you like them?
The Belgian painter René Magritte is my favorite. His surrealistic images are powerful and poetic. He is a great inspiration to many international artists.
Do you follow any cartoonists from India? Can you name your favourites?
Shankar Pamarthy (based in Hyderabad) is a well-known caricaturist internationally.