Type: Editorial Editorial
Available for print / Web / mobilePolitico cartoonist and illustrator Matt Wuerker offers a rich visual style and keen eye on the political circus, served up with cartoons that are not just funny but also artful.
Matt Wuerker is a political cartoonist and illustrator based in Washington, D.C. Part of the team that launched Politico in 2007, he does cartoons, caricatures, illustrations and animations for both the print edition of Politico as well as its widely read website.
Over the past 30 years his cartoon and caricature work has been published widely in publications that range from dailies like the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor, to magazines such as Time, Newsweek, and Smithsonian—to name a few.
Garry Trudeau’s commencement speech to Matt’s graduating class at Lewis and Clark College in ’79 helped convince him that cartooning could be a viable career path. His first editorial cartoons (not counting ones he drew for school papers going back to the 7th grade) were published in Willamette Week, the alternative weekly in Portland in ’79.
He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 and 2010, and won in 2012. In April, 2010 he was awarded the Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning at the Library of Congress. In November of 2010 he won the Nation Press Foundation’s Berryman Award for editorial cartooning.
The Herblock judges offered the following view on Wuerker’s work: “Matt Wuerker can draw, boy can he draw. And paint. And make you think. More than being examples of very fine and engaging art, Wuerker’s cartoons always have an incisive narrative going on. They take you by the hand and tell the stories ripped from today’s headlines. If Hieronymus Bosch had grown up on Mad Magazine, he couldn’t have done a better job illustrating politics and politicians run amok than Wuerker.”
Asked about his fixation with drawn opinion, Matt said, “I like the usefulness of good political cartoons and imagery. There’s something very satisfying about contributing to the ongoing political conversation and there’s also something very satisfying when you succeed in making people laugh. Some visual metaphors are just plain serious, but the ones that I like best are the ones that combine a certain gravitas with a playfulness that gets people to smile.”
He is currently the Vice President of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and serves on the board of the Cartoonists Rights Network International.
He and his family (wife Sarah Stephens and son Owen) moved from Oregon to Washington, D.C. in 2000 for what they thought would be “a year abroad” but were bitten by the D.C. bug and gave into Potomac fever.
They now live in D.C. in Woodley Park, situated between the National Zoo and the Swiss Embassy. Depending on how crazy things get in Washington, they figure they can seek asylum in one or the other.