The other side of cartoonist Barry Fantoni


Barry Fantoni with his Portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh, at the Woodstock Gallery, 1963

The exhibition Barry Fantoni: Public Eye, Private Eye is at the Thomas Williams Fine Art Gallery, in Old Bond Street, London, from April 22 until May 22.

Barry Fantoni has had a long association with Private Eye magazine since 1963, and remains a member of the editorial staff, currently drawing the regular “Scenes You Seldom See” cartoon. He also writes the magazine’s comic obituary poems as “E. J. Thribb, 17” and is the man behind the stories by “Sylvie Krin”.

But his private life as a painter, creating landscapes, interiors and images of friends and lovers since the 1960s, will be revealed for the first time in this new exhibition, alongside his cartoons. The paintings show Fantoni to be part of the influential London School, whose most famous exponents are David Hockney, Lucien Freud and R.B. Kitaj.


Barry Fantoni, Lorna, c.1975, 101.5 x 76 cm, oil on canvas

Fantoni was the front-page cartoonist for The Times from 1983-1990, a regular illustrator for Radio Times and The Listener, art critic for The Times and a music reviewer for Punch. He was presenter on the BBC’s 1960s music and fashion programme “A Whole Scene Going On” and cartoonist for the satirical show “That Was The Week That Was”.

Barry Fantoni, Cheer up, March 1990

A catalogue for the exhibition, with an introduction by former Private Eye editor Richard Ingrams, is published by Thomas Williams to accompany the exhibition.

The Thomas Williams Fine Art Gallery is open 10am – 6pm, Monday to Friday. For more call 020-7491 1485 or visit the website.

There’s more on Barry Fantoni in The Independent this week.

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