Karl Meersman (14-09-1961) studied figure drawing, printmaking, drawing for advertising, and art history at a variety of art schools.
He became well-known as a graphic artist but was very attracted to satire and the political cartoons of the late 19th century.
Félicien Rops, Toulouse Lautrec and Honoré Daumier still inspire him today.
Karl did his first drawing for the Belgian financial weekly Trends in 1987.
The editorial board had noticed him working as a quick sketch artist, making portraits of passers-by in city streets. These days Karl is still the in-house artist at Trends, KnackFocus and Knack. One editor-in-chief wrote:
“Like a wise fool or a clever clown, he unmasks and disarms our cultural, political and economic leaders with ghastly precision.
Karl Meersman pushes the frontiers of portraiture”.
Besides his editorial cartoons, Karl has in recent years increasingly focused on his own work, exhibitions and books
Exhibitions, a selection:
1995 : Provincial Museum of Modern Art, PMMK, Ostend
1996 : De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam
1997 : Group exhibition Itabashi Art Museum, Japan and
Komatsu Art Museum, Taiwan
1999 : Casino, Knokke
2000 : S.M.A.K. Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent
2000 : Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum, Antwerp
2001 : Belgian Embassy, London
2003 : Boelwerf Temse, retrospective
2005 : “Famous Faces”, Berko Gallery, Brussels
2006 : Het Zwart Huis Gallery, Knokke
2006 : Belgian Consulate, New York
2007 : “VIPs”, Caermersklooster, Ghent
2008 : “Nieuws”, Mercator Gallery, Antwerp
2009 : Guest Exhibitor International Cartoon Festival Knokke-Heist
2010 : Retrospective Muzeum Miedzi in Legnica, Poland
2010 : Absolute Art Gallery and Groeninge Museum, Bruges
2012 : “AVE EVA”, in dialogue with Rops, Caermersklooster, Ghent
2012 : “AVE EVA”, Absolute Art Gallery, Knokke
2013 : Participation in group exhibitions Kassel and Frankfurt
2015 : Retrospective “Portraits on Paper”, Stedelijk Museum, St-Niklaas
2016 : Co-founder Art Platform WILFORD X
2017 : Exhibition Bellevue Museum Brussels
2018 : Mea Culpa' Retranchement (NL)
2019 : Bernaerts Antwerpen ‘Sneak'
1° prizes, a selection
• Poster design for Unispace 1982, UNESCO, New York.
• Grote gouden regeringsmedaille 1983, Belgian government.
• Winner International Cartoon Festival Knokke-Heist 1986.
• Winner Karikaturale Hoeilaart, Belgium, 1987 and 1989.
• Selected for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 1997.
• Included in The White Ravens 1997, International Youth Library, Munich.
• Best Foreign Stamp Poll, Beijing, China 2006.
• Press Cartoon Europe 2011. Best drawing in the European press.
• Nominee 2012 International Best Brochure Competition (USA) for “AVE EVA”.
• Press Cartoon Belgium 2020 – First Prize – best drawing in the Belgian Press.