Caricature Report- Florence!

September 26th, 2013 | Posted in General

I had much better luck in Florence than Venice finding caricaturists. We found a square with almost all portrait and caricaturists right in front of the Uffizi Gallery, and several more around the Piazza del Duomo. It takes a special kind of guts (or stupid) to sell your artwork only feet away from some of the greatest works of art ever created, but street caricaturists are seldom accused of being timid.


That Madonna is a Kr?¬?ger


I’ve seen that Roberto Benigni somewhere…


The Connery I believe is a Vizcarra…


The same Benigni and the same Jackson… not sure where that one is from either. That Jagger is a Burke…

I will say one thing for the artists in Florence… while several had obvious rip-offs of some other people’s work, at least they took the time to redraw them and not just tack up a print from the internet. I’m not sure if that’s really any better or not, but at least it took them more time than a few clicks with a mouse. I saw a lot of Krugers and Mulatiers, some Vizcarras, a Geoffroy, a Joe Blum and, yes, a couple of mine.


That’s my “Ace Ventura” from like a million years ago…


That Steve McQueen is a Mulatier I think…. Nicholson looks familiar but can’t place it…


This guy was set up near the Uffizi…


That’s my Julia Roberts in the middle. I think the Tom Cruise I recognize also from elsewhere…


The Jackson is a Kr?¬?ger, Connery a Vizcanno…


The Rowan Atkinson is a Op de Beeck, same Benegni as others…


These look like all original works!

One thing I noticed right away with these artists, none of them drew in anything like the style they had displayed. There seems to be a stock style here, the 3/4 view “bubble cheek” look. I saw similar styles in Paris a few years ago. Might be an overall European thing.

I got drawn by one artist who had one of my samples up, and then another whom I though was the best one of the lot.

This first one was pretty awful:


Me on the spot…


Looking up at my ripped off sample of Julia…


The final result… ??

The second one faked me out with his samples. They were far better than his actual work:


Liked his samples… not rip-offs I could see.


At work…


Showing me the damage…


Looking happy about spending 10 Euros on this…


The final…

Florence Caricature Grade: C+

Too much of a stock style, too many rip-off samples and too big a difference between the samples and the actual art. On the other hand, they were out there working hard and the skill levels were (mostly) competent.



  1. Rich Powell says:

    Great Post. Enjoy your stay, Lucky!

  2. The Tom Cruise is a Joe Bluhm.

  3. LEBJUM FEJF says:

    Look! He got the little dumb bells in there. How did he know you liked to work out? Very intuitive.

  4. politicalgraffiti says:

    the Michael Jacksons look like they are coked up or PCP’s. I think it’s a tight rope being a street artist, you don’t want to insult your patron so they play it safe. It’s like the street performer having to play shit requests rather than profound stuff.

  5. Anita Lauria says:

    Did you tell them you were an artist? What a strange feeling to see your own work casted off as someone elses…….but, it was a true compliment to you!!

  6. Ken says:

    You should have done a pic of each artists in return. Kinda’ show them how it’s done.

  7. AnneHambrock says:

    Wow! Such a great run down and tutorial. I hope you can work some of this stuff into your Kenosha presentation 🙂

  8. Greg says:

    The Roberto Benigni, Michael Jackson pointing the finger & Mike Tyson are Krugers too.

  9. Billy says:

    I agree with Ken, you really should draw THEM as they draw you.

  10. I find that with most live caricature artists. The samples weren’t live so they could take time with them and do multiple redos. Why I don’t do live drawings…cuz sometimes it takes me 5x before I like it.

  11. I like the critique! I’m guessing a C+ is better than the worldwide average. Must be somewhat of an an honor to have your work ripped off, even if it is by hacks. The Sean Connery is a Geoffroy.

  12. Hannah Voss says:

    The first one looks like William H Macy

  13. Anton Emdin says:

    Great post! I quite like the last couple of shading styles, but no likeness there at all.

  14. mfladlien says:

    great post!

  15. abd jamil ahmad says:

    Tim , I like the critiques. Thanks for sharing your trip to Florence. Copying your favourite caricaturist work is common ,I did it myself for the artist I admired the most . I,ll pick 2 pieces out of 20 to my Display ,but I redraw them to my standard ,cause I used Marker to draw and most of the time my customers don,t expect me to exaggerate their faces like my 2 copied caricatures on the display that’s what happens in Malaysia they don’t want you to make a mockery out of their faces .Stilling or pinching Ideas from top artist is very much flashing in a pan to attract our customers that’s what I did I am terribly sorry if what I did was wrong. Cheers

  16. There is little honor in having your artwork stolen from the Internet to be misrepresented by an artist who disrespects the ART, the ARTIST and the very concept of “truth.” Anybody who decides on a ‘shortcut’ as simplistic, lazy and venal as COPYING the art of others is simply saying, “I’d rather steal than develop my skills.”

  17. Pete Lurie says:

    Go and get a gelato Tom you’ll get much more pleasure out of it!!!…. Enjoy your stay 😉

  18. De Witte says:

    Cordial merci pour ce reportage ! Thanks for this page. Superbe ! You are the best caricaturist, Tom ! Madly !

  19. Cronopio says:

    The guy who drew you so nicely had a Mulatier Maggie Thatcher on display….

  20. That was a smart move checking out these guys…enjoyed your artistic prowness..

  21. Jeff Parker says:

    At least the last guy got the barbells right.

  22. Andrea Costa says:

    This is a fantastic post!!
    Many thanks!

    One question: are you still in Italy next October 3rd?
    In case you are in Milan, I have a show opening where I will be glad to invite you.

  23. Paddy Boehm says:

    I stumbled upon this article, just to found copies of my own caricatures straight on the first picture (Zappa, Cruise, Jolie). Also it’s kind of flattering that someone posted my works “over” Kr?¬∫ger’s 😉 it’s of course very bad to do something like this. It’s fooling your (potential) clients and yourself as an artist.


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