Exhibit: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Cartoonist Matt Davies
"How does one make a cartoon out of someone who already appears cartoonish?"
Political cartoonists get plenty of fodder from election campaigns, but Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Matt Davies sees the 2012 presidential election season as a challenge.
“Election years are both a blessing and a curse for the political cartoonist,” says Wilton resident Davies, whose cartoons are on display on the lower-level Riverwalk Display Case through November 8. “While it’s a time of great popular interest in the subject, it’s also a vacuous time, when politicians make buffoons of themselves. How does one make a cartoon out of someone who already appears cartoonish?”
Entitled “Cartoonist Matt Davies Draws ELECTION 2012,” the exhibit showcases his original cartoons, including the most current piece syndicated nationally each week by Tribune Media Services and The Hearst Newspaper Group in Connecticut. Also included are 2012 election cartoons by three of his conservative cartoonist colleagues, Lisa Benson of Apple Valley, CA (syndicated by Washington Post Writers Group); Mike Lester of Rome, GA, (syndicated by Washington Post News Media Service); and Scott Stantis, of The Chicago Tribune.
On Sunday, October 21, at 2:00 pm in the Library’s McManus Room, Davies and Stantis, who will be Skyped in via the Internet, will discuss the art of political cartooning and the challenges of covering the 2012 election.
Davies was born in London in 1966 and immigrated with his family to the U.S. and Westport in 1983. Two years later he graduated from Staples High School and then studied at both the Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia and The School of the Visual Arts in New York City.
Now a Wilton resident, Davies began drawing editorial cartoons full-time for The Journal News in Westchester County in 1993 and, in 2009, started drawing for Hearst. In 2011, he began drawing for remappingdebate.org and, in 2012, agreed to create original cartoons for Newsday. His cartoons have appeared frequently in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. His work has also been featured in Newsweek, Time magazine, U.S. News & World Report, CNN, and Mad Magazine. In spring 2013, his first children’s book, Ben Rides On, which he both wrote and illustrated, will be published by MacMillan.
In 2001, Davies was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for a collection of his work highlighting such subjects as police brutality, racism, and school overcrowding. In 2004, he received the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartoons and was also awarded the inaugural Herblock Prize that same year. He is a five-time winner of the Society of Professional Journalists (New York Chapter) Deadline Club Award–including the 2001 prize for his work confronting a post 9/11 New York–and has been honored for his local cartoons with five first place awards in the New York Associated Press Editorial Cartooning Competition. In 2011, he was again a Pulitzer finalist.
Davies photo credit: Laura Ackermann