Blessed with an uncanny knack to entertain with his pen laced with social humour, Mario is, however, sure that cartooning is no funny business. “It is a very serious business. People need to have a great sense of humour and observation skills to be a good cartoonist. They need to read all types of books to gain knowledge and then draw cartoons,” the legendary cartoonist had these words of wisdom for the budding artists. The motley crowd at the gallery lapped it up, as many inched closer for autographs.
For Mario, the winner of the Padmashree, Padmabhushan and Life Time Award by the Indian Institute of Cartoonists, the large turnout was no big surprise. Obliging youngsters with his signature drawings, the artist in him turned teacher: “Solid background of books is a must in a cartoonist. You might be able to draw, but it is the reading that gives you the background,” he said.
Among his many admirers at the spot was Xerxes Desai, former vice-president and managing director, Titan industries, who formally inaugurated the exhibition. More than 60 works of Mario are on display and sale till October 24. Check out the Indian Cartoon Gallery, No 1 Midford Gardens, Behind Big Kids Kemp, Off M G Road, Bangalore-1, from 10 am to 7 pm.