Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 16, 2015

Death by Illustration

If you hadn’t been following the news, this photo might seem terribly cheeky. (Then, how fitting would that be.)

To the extent people’s bodies have been a canvas for illustration, why wouldn’t or shouldn’t the pine box (as another container of a self) serve as just a further extension of body art? Call it taking the tattoo to the next world.

Or, there’s the sense of the coffin as just more graffiti space. And in the example of Tignous and the journalistic, but more renegade agenda of the publication he worked for, taking the canvas to the street makes perfect sense.

Above all though, the scene represents just that much more irony. The caption reads:

Cartoonists Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac and Georges Wolinski as well as columnist Elsa Cayat were buried on Thursday.

Essentially, the photo is an illustration of death-by-satire in which cartoons see Charlie Hebdo (at least part of his body) past insult and beyond imagination.

(photo: Bertrand Guy/ AFP -Getty Images)

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