Satirical City 1999-2014


Satirical City features almost 120 London cartoons and a mural by Martin Rowson. Filled with humour and poignancy, this exhibition of thought-provoking cartoons capture some of the historical moments and big issues to affect the capital over the last 15 years.

From election battles to Olympic races, the opening of the Dome to the Royal Wedding, the exhibition will take Londoners on a trip down memory lane.

The exhibition has been brought together by London Communications Agency (LCA), an award winning specialist consultancy focusing on London and London issues, to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Since it was set up in 1999 it has commissioned and used cartoons as a way commenting on events in the capital.

Executive Chairman Robert Gordon Clark said: “Our relationship with Martin began 15 years ago when Ken Livingstone, the first Mayor of London, was elected and announced that Martin Rowson would be his Cartoonist Laureate. It struck us that commissioning political cartoons from the London laureate might be an amusing and effective way of communicating what we were about and what was happening in London.”

Some of the cartoons are inspired by the original master of political caricature and cartoon, William Hogarth (1697-1764), whose death was 250 years ago.  And just like Hogarth, Martin Rowson skillfully conveys some of London’s complex issues in one striking image.

The mayoralty is a major focus in the exhibition and big characters like Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson have provided Rowson with plenty of subject matter. As is his style, Rowson’s cartoons are full of mischief and political savvy.

As well as the black and white and colour cartoons, a full size mural will be made on site the day before the exhibition opens to the public.

Martin Rowson, said: “It's my job as a satirist ceaselessly to assail the rich and powerful - in fact, precisely the kind of people represented by the London Communications Agency.  But in spite of this we've enjoyed an enormously fruitful relationship, with them just about tolerating some of my cartoons and me just about tolerating some of their briefs!”