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The Messages of Caricatures in Contemporary Society - Focusing on McLuhan’s Media Theory -

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2024, (92), pp.151-182
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.092.06
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : January 13, 2024
  • Accepted : February 15, 2024
  • Published : February 28, 2024

Kim, Byung-Min 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the messages of caricatures in contemporary society, focusing on “Reproductive Caricature” and “Playful Caricature”. Unlike general graffiti and disparaging expressions, “Reproductive Caricature” refers to representational paintings that have been accepted as part of art history. Of course, even before representational caricatures, there were paintings that were morphologically similar to caricatures, such as simple graffiti and disparaging expressions. This type of painting is sometimes misunderstood as a caricature because it shares external characteristics with contemporary caricatures. However, graffiti and simple disparaging paintings, which can be called “Primitive Caricatures”, cannot be strictly considered caricatures. This is because primitive caricatures have a connection with caricatures in that they anticipate some of the unique characteristics of representational caricatures after modern times, but they are not directly related to caricatures themselves. Therefore, primitive caricatures are not covered separately in this paper. On the other hand, while caricatures were accepted by people as part of art history, they influenced the visual system of those who appreciated them and later influenced art history. However, these caricatures do not still have the same influence in contemporary society, as there are enough painting media to replace their influence today. In this situation, caricatures are influenced by capitalism and self-narratives, exhibit playful elements and inner exploration, and convey new social and cultural messages. The so-called “Playful Caricatures” help solidify the cultural narrative that people should be able to derive pleasure through consumption and take care of their inner selves. This paper is expected to have academic value in that it discusses the possibility of multi-faceted use of caricatures today by analyzing the messages of caricatures in modern society.

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