Tony Rafty OAM

Posted by on Jul 22, 2020 in CartoonBites | No Comments

Book Review by Paul Harvey & Frantz Kantor

Tony Rafty OAM (born Anthony Raftopoulos; 12 October 1915 Died 9 October 2015) was a Greek-Australian artist. He specialised in drawing caricatures.

Rafty was born in Paddington, New South Wales into a family of Greek origin. As a boy, he first started drawing caricatures whilst caddying during the Depression.

During World War II, Rafty served as a war artist and journalist for the Australian Army, serving in New Guinea, Borneo and Singapore.

Rafty caricatured politicians, sportspeople, and entertainers.

In 1981 Rafty became the world’s first caricaturist to have subjects appear on national stamps, with caricatures of sportsmen Victor Trumper, Walter Lindrum, Sir Norman Brookes and Darby Munroappearing on stamps issued by Australian Post.

Tony Rafty (right, in rickshaw) in Kuching, Sarawak, on 12 September 1945, the day after its liberation by Australian armed forces.

Sir William Dargie, an Australian artist, eight-time winner of the Archibald Prize, and war artist with Rafty in World War II commented: Tony Rafty is simply splendid.

Tony Rafty’s zest for life, so evident in his more than 10,000 published sketches of politicians, sportspeople and entertainers, finally left him at 4pm on Friday, only three days shy of his 100th birthday.

He was the first in his craft to have his works chosen for commemorative stamps, when Australia Post selected sportsmen Victor Trumper Walter Lindrum, Sir Norman Brookes and Darby Munro for a 1981 issue.