Derek Bauer

Born in East London in 1955, Derek Bauer's dramatic cartoons became synonymous with South Africa's 'alternative' (read 'anti-Apartheid') newspaper the 'Weekly Mail' in 1985. Bauer's blood-spattered style reflects the influence of British cartoonists Steadman and Scarfe, and he would in turn go on to influence several emerging cartoonists, including the early work of Zapiro and Chip. Bauer's violent cartoons provided an appropriate record of South Africa during the tumultuous 1980s, and he maintained this style of narrative into the 90s as he penned the unbanning of political parties, the release of political prisoners, and the commencement of negotiations which would eventually result in the country's first democratic elections. At that stage Zapiro replaced him as cartoonist for the 'Weekly Mail' and it's hard to imagine Bauer taming his anger enough to be in sync with the Rainbow Nation's honeymoon period. In any event he had by then established a lucrative brand of curios and art pieces which carried his work into the mainstream and was demanding more of his attention. Derek Bauer died in a car accident in December 2001, and South Africa lost perhaps its most expressive editorial cartoonist ever.

Cartoons by Derek Bauer

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