Spanish Caricaturist Casts Spell on Dubai Shopping Festival Crowds

DUBAI - With his mass of curly hair and jovial face, Jorge Raul Ganderatz, a professional caricaturist from Spain, is hard to be missed in a crowd. After travelling to 99 countries, Jorge has made his 100th stop in the UAE for Dubai Shopping Festival 2009.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sun 25 Jan 2009, 12:46 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:42 AM

Khaleej Times caught up with Jorge last week in Al Seef Street, Dubai, where a huge crowd of people had gathered around him to catch a glimpse of him in action. Passers-by are easily attracted to him, as he holds a paper frame around their face and says, “There is my next customer!”

It takes him eight to ten minutes to complete a caricature in black and white, and around 20 minutes to do one in colour. Jorge’s hands have created over 60,000 caricatures since he began sketching.

His talent does not stop in painting and doing sketches, his ability to connect with the crowd makes him exceptional.

“It’s my first time in Dubai, and the people here are fantastic,” said Jorge.

Jorge, who is now 57, began painting when he was a young boy. “I started to do caricatures professionally when I was very young. I set a stall outside a restaurant in Marbella, Spain.

“I would do caricatures of the passers-by and I set up a small exhibition outside the restaurant. I began to travel and do caricatures in 1975 when I made my first visit to Bolivia, South America, and since then, there has been no looking back for me,” said Jorge.

“Caricatures are a very personal art, it cannot be taught,” said Jorge as he was doing a caricature of Dubai resident Danica Meyers.

“I don’t know anything about the place before I head for it. It depends on the country I go to; sometimes I stay for six months and sometimes only for a few weeks. In 1978, I visited India and it tops the list of my favourite countries, after which my second favourite place is Andalusia.”

Jorge stopped travelling for a while after he got married. “The best caricature I have ever done is of my wife, and the worst is of mine. I tell people that it’s a drawing of my ugly stepbrother,” joked Jorge.

Seventy per cent of Jorge’s customers in Spain are children. It’s a passion he wants to continue as long as he can. “I hope this is not my last visit to Dubai. The financial crisis has been a little hard on me too and caricatures and paintings are my life, my passion.”

Danica Meyers, who got her caricature done by Jorge, said, “He’s an inspirational character. Doing caricatures is something that I’ve wanted to learn.”

Those who wish to get their caricatures done can visit Al Seef Street where the artist would do so in minutes. Jorge will head to The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence where he can be found till February 13.

More news from