Mark Ciale;
Voice Caricaturist at Large
 
The Bolognese historical painter, Annibale Carracci was the inventor of "The Theory of Caricature".  Signore Mosini, a writer of the day defined it as the ultimate antithesis of beauty "Una bella. perfetta deformita."  In fact, the word "Caricature" comes from the Italian "caricare" which translates as "to load, to burden or to exaggerate" meaning of course that the caricaturist's goal is to invest his or her image with as much meaning as possible, in as few stokes as possible!

Early depictions of caricature are found as far back as the works of DaVinci, who sought individuals with deformities as models for his drawings and Bernini (1598-1680), one of the most well known caricaturists, was favored by the members of The Papal Court for his ability to capture the essence of a person in three or four strokes. Caricature experienced its early success in the aristocracies of Italy and France where such portraits were circulated for entertainment.

Mark Ciale, interestingly of Italian decent, has developed his own particular style of caricature. A fan of Kitsch, Pop Culture, record album illustration and old Hollywood television shows, Mark employs his love for the absurd in his work. Voice cartoonist and caricaturist since 1994, Ciale enjoys the exaggerated postures and bizarre humour so evident in caricature, whether it is as displayed on the TV screen or in other popular media. His inspiration began with a strong facility for representational work and a determined quest for likenesses. His quirky observations and specific drawing skills have lent themselves well to this revealing, powerful and often grotesque art form.

Although caricature is often used as a basis for the exposure and ridicule of topical figures, personally Ciale leans toward the apolitical. He avoids placing himself in any specific politicized stratum; rather he is a recorder of what he sees. His caricatures for clients tend to be kinder and less dramatic than those of more traditional caricaturists however the works he generates privately or for exhibition, explore his subjects in a somewhat visceral manner, seemingly exposing almost archetypal or stereotypical aspects of physical type and form. In his depictions of Women, as vamp, celebrity or starlet, Mark further avoids politicizing his work in terms of current trends in thinking. He does however admit that his work could generate controversy. "Some people may not appreciate the way in which women are depicted in my work, but I've never had an identifiable group of any kind say, we don't like what you're doing." he adds, "I love peoples reactions to my work!"

Ciale began exploring caricature at OCAD while he was student there (1988-1993). Mark studied with well-known instructors John Newman and Rae Johnson. He also enjoys the work of and has been compared to noted cartoonist R. Crumb. He mentions Celia Neubauer as a memorable instructor at The Toronto School of Art, Automatiste Jean Paul Riopelle and painter Patterson Ewan as inspirations.

Much of his recent work contains adult themes and he is currently in collaboration with the artist known as freshdiscoporkergas. This collaboration is experimental in nature and at this point 30 drawings have been finished although Ciale is uncertain as to how the project will manifest itself.

Mark is hired for parties, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and corporate functions and has spent a decade of evenings doing what he loves. Mark enjoyed regular business until   SARS hit Toronto in 2003. The epidemic made a considerable dent in his profits.  "People were not having as many corporate functions, or parties for that matter and business suffered" Mark diversified professionally and supplemented his business by doing story boards for feature films. He also exhibited his works in various venues such as the very hip SPIN gallery and now defunct Gallery Zsa Zsa.

His goals are to continue to make a living from his art, exhibiting and selling his work.  Mark is available for parties and commissions, has good rates and invites people to visit his website: www.markciale.com. You can also see his works occasionally at SPIN Gallery and of course in The Voice every month.