Selbstportrait
Egon Schiele

Portrait,
Amedeo Modigliani

Portrait vs. Portraitkarikatur

Es ist eine oft vernachlässigte Tatsache, dass man zuerst die Technik der „normalen“ Portraitzeichnung auf einem hohen Niveau beherrschen muss, um eine gelungene Portraitkarikatur zeichnen zu können. Die Portraitkarikatur kann man als eine Art Stilisierung oder eine Weiterentwicklung des Portraits ansehen. Sobald der komische Effekt nicht mehr im Vordergrund steht, hat eine Portraitkarikatur viele wichtige gemeinsame Elemente mit Expressionismus und Impressionismus, wie man z.B. an Egon Schiele und Modigliani erkennen kann.

Wenn man mit dem Zeichnen eines „normalen“ Portraits nicht zurechtkommt, hat man die Fähigkeit zur räumlichen Konstruktion eines komplizierten Gebildes, wie dem eines Gesichtes, noch nicht entwickelt. Eigentlich sagen viele, dass das menschliche Gesicht der schwierigste Gegenstand überhaupt für bildende Künstler ist, weil unsere Wahrnehmungen extrem empfindlich gegenüber kleinen Formfehlern an Gesichtern ist.

Bei einer Portraitzeichnung macht eine kleine Abweichung von der realen Form viel aus.  Eine Landschaft, ein Stillleben, oder sogar Tiere realitätsgetreu zu zeichnen ist zweifellos auch anspruchsvoll, aber es können dem Betrachtendem hier relativ viel mehr „Fehler“ entgehen. Wohingegen eine Ungenauigkeit bei einem Portrait viel öfter auffallen wird, selbst wenn sich der Betrachter nicht explizit festlegen kann, worin der Fehler genau besteht. Er spürt, dass hier etwas merkwürdig ist, oder die abgebildete Person nicht wiedererkennbar ist, ohne die Quelle der Ungenauigkeit deutlich erkennen zu können.

Daher scheint es widersprüchlich, dass ein wiedererkennbares Portrait, das hoch Präzision erfordert, durch das Verunstalten des Karikierprozesses immer noch wiedererkennbar bleiben kann. Eine Portraitkarikatur ist alles andere als eine „genaue“, realitätsgetreue Abbildung eines Gesichtes. Warum schadet nun diese große „Ungenauigkeit“ nicht dem Wiedererkennungswert?

Um dies zu verstehen, muss man sich den tatsächlichen Prozess hinter der Entstehung einer Portraitkarikatur ansehen. Dieser Prozess ist nämlich komplizierter als beim „normalen“ Portraitzeichnen.

Bevor ich den Entstehungsprozess beschreibe, muss ich einen sehr wichtigen Aspekt der allgemeinen Zeichenkunst erwähnen. Jede Zeichnung ist eine zweidimensionale Abbildung eines drei-dimensionalen Gegenstandes. Die Dreidimensionalität einer realistischen Zeichnung ist bloß eine Interpretation unseres Gehirns. Die Schwierigkeit, einen dreidimensionalen Gegenstand auf einer zwei-dimensionalen Papierfläche „hinunter“ zu holen, trägt sehr viel zu der genereller Schwierigkeit des Zeichnens bei.

Nun eine sehr kurze Zusammengefassung des Gedankengangs hinter einer Portraitkarikatur.

Planungsphase:
  1. Neue Anordnung der Relationen zwischen Bestandteile vom ursprünglichen Gesicht, wobei die Charakteristika hervorgehoben werden sollen
  2. Die Anatomie glaubwürdig rekonstruieren

So erhält man ein neues „exaggerated“ Gesicht. Das neue Gesicht existiert im dreidimensionalen Raum, genauso wie das ursprüngliche Gesicht.

Durchführungsphase:
  1. Präzise Abbildung vom „exaggerated“ Gesicht auf der zweidimensionalen Zeichenfläche

Das ist keineswegs eine praktische Anleitung für das Portraitkarikatur-Zeichnen, sondern eine abstrakte Formulierung auf der theoretischen Ebene (In der Praxis ist die Vorangehensweise ein bisschen anders. Hier gibt es eine Praxisorientierte Anleitung). Nach dieser Schilderung sieht man, dass das normale Portraitzeichnen eigentlich als ein fester Bestandteil in Portraitkarikatur-Zeichnen enthalten ist. Der wesentliche Inhalt vom Schritt 3 ist nichts anders als das Portraitzeichnen.

Durch die Schritte 1 und 2 gilt eine Portraitkarikatur nicht lediglich als eine „ungenaue“ Version des entsprechenden Portraits, sondern eine konstruierte Darstellung, die die wesentlichen Wiedererkennungselemente eines Gesichtes beibehalten sollen.

Darüber hinaus gibt es ein interessantes Phänomen, nämlich wenn eine Portraitkarikatur wirklich erfolgreich durchgeführt wurde, hat sie sogar in gewissen Sinne noch höheren Wiedererkennungswert als das ursprüngliche Portrait. Der wohl erfolgreichste Portraitmaler aller Zeiten, John Singer Sargent, wusste diese Technik auszunutzen, um ausdrucksvolle Portraits zu schaffen. Seine Portraits sind keine exakte Kopie des Models, sondern eine subtile Art Portraitkarikatur.

Sargents Portrait (links) verglichen mit Fotografie des Abgebildeten
J.S.Sargent
Bild aus dem Buch  John Singer Sargent von Richard Ormond, 1970

Sargents Portrait (links) verglichen mit Fotografie des Abgebildeten
J.S.Sargent
Bild aus dem Buch  John Singer Sargent von Richard Ormond, 1970

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