'Elles On Bien Aimé' (Pilote #620, 23 September 1971).

Patrice Ricord - also known as Ricor - is a French caricaturist, portrait artist and occasional comic artist. Together with his colleagues Jean Mulatier and Jean-Claude Morchoisne, he gained fame with his "Grandes Gueules" ("Big Mouths") celebrity caricatures, made in photo-realistic colors. Taking off in the pages of Pilote, these grotesque portraits also found their way to numerous other French and international magazines.

Early life and education
Patrice Ricord was born in 1947 in Cagnes-sur-Mer, a coastal town in the southeast French department Alpes-Maritimes. His father was a wood sculptor, and his grandfather the steward and driver of famous French painter Auguste Renoir, when Renoir resided in Cagnes-sur-Mer. In Paris, Patrice attended high school at Paul-Valéry, where he met future co-worker and fellow caricaturist Jean Mulatier. After receiving his bachelor in Philosophy, Patrice Ricord studied alongside Mulatier at the Parisian Graphic Arts atelier Met De Penninghen (nowadays the ESAG Penninghen). Between 1967 and 1972, the two young artists also studied together at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris, where Ricord focused on engraving and photography. Among his graphic influences, Ricord has mentioned his own father, the 19th-century masters Honoré Daumier and Gustave Doré and the American caricaturists Mort Drucker and Manning Hall. Other artists he admires are Chaval, Ronald Searle, Guillermo Mordillo, Sempé, Philippe Geluck and Jacques Faizant.

Ricord caricatures of French comedian Fernandel and British Prime Minister Margareth Thatcher for Pilote issues #584 (14 January 1971) and M83 (1 June 1980).

Les Grandes Gueules
While still students, both Ricord and Jean Mulatier joined the team of Pilote, the comic magazine edited by René Goscinny. Starting in 1969, Ricord made many drawings for the news section, but also for a handful of comic stories, written by Christian Godard, Jean-Marie Pélaprat or Jacques Rampal. In Pilote issue #582, published in 1970, Ricord's unflattering drawing of stage actor Michel Simon inaugurated the 'Grandes Gueules' section, a series of grotesque celebrity caricatures in photo-realistic colors. The section's name translates as "The Great Mugs", with a "gueule" being a pejorative term for a face. In the beginning, Ricord drew the section in alternation with Jean Mulatier, but the team was quickly reinforced with another caricaturist, Jean-Claude Morchoisne. These three artists created the core of the 'Grandes Gueules' caricatures, although other Pilote cartoonists, like Jean-Louis GosseJean-Michel Renault and Jean Solé, also contributed to the series. After 1973, the 'Grandes Gueules' title was no longer used in Pilote, but the team continued to make similar caricatures for the magazine throughout the year. Notable celebrity caricatures by Patrice Ricord for Pilote were Lee Van Cleef, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Louis de Funès, Sean Connery and Groucho Marx.

'Gueules d'État' (1995), depicting French President Jacques Chirac

Caricaturist and other magazine work
In 1974, Ricord, Mulatier and Morchoisne left Pilote, continuing their collaboration at their own short-lived 1974-1975 magazine Mormoil and their 1980 publishing imprint Les Éditions de l'Atelier, through which they released several thematic 'Grandes Gueules' book collections. One of their bestsellers was 'Ces Animaux qui nous Gouvernent' (1984), in which politicians were caricaturally morphed into animals. With Jean Mulatier, Ricord additionally published 'Gueules d'État' (Glénat, 1995), featuring caricatures of French politicians. For the book, they also made parodies of money notes, replacing the faces of French historical figures with current French politicians.

Caricatures of film actor Lino Ventura and former French President Charles De Gaulle, constructed of French cheeses. The illustration refers to a famous quote by De Gaulle: "How do you govern a country that has 268 variations of cheese?". 

Over the years, Patrice Ricord's caricatures and portraits have appeared in a variety of national and international magazines, in France for instance in L'Express, Le Figaro Magazine, Paris Match, Nice-Matin, Le Nouvel Observateur, L'Expansion, Lui and the French editions of Playboy and MAD Magazine. Abroad, they appeared in Esquire in the USA, Der Stern in Germany, the UK's Sunday Times and Graphis, the Jornal do Brasil, as well as titles like Panorama, Zoom and Japan Illustration. In 1999, he created a series of political caricatures, animated in 3D and featured in the Sunday TV series 'Politiquement correct' on FR2. Since 1987, dozens of solo book collections with Ricord caricatures have been released by Éditions Carrousel BD, Éditions Denoël, Soleil Productions, Éditions Mango, Éditions Fetjaine and by the Italian Technipress imprint. Several of these books continued humorous accompanying texts by Jean-Pierre Gauffre. Since 2018, P.R. Productions have released several installments in the Ricor caricature book series 'Le Guiness des Ricord'.

For Le Pèlerin magazine, Patrice Ricord made the comic strip 'NO MAD!'. A book collection appeared in China in 2009. During the 2000s, he also made a strip spoofing the people of the city of Nice for the local Journal de St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Another notable magazine assignment was a hyperrealistic drawing of France's national symbol, the Gallic Rooster, appearing on the tenth anniversary cover of Le Figaro magazine in 1988. The drawing was then reproduced on a giant canvas that covered five floors of the facade of the George-V hotel in Paris, from where it was enlarged and projected onto the windows of the squarte courtyard of the Grand Louvre during the illumination festivities of 22 October 1988.

'Le Niçois qui mal y Pense' (Journal de St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, 2000s). Translation: "If thought proves existence, then I know a few how exist very moderately." - "Taking care of one's reputation is like acknowledging that one is already ill." 

Further activities
Since the 1980s, Patrice Ricord has also been active as a designer of movie posters, for instance for the feature films 'Deux Heures Moins le Quart avant Jésus-Christ ('Quarter To Two B.C.', 1982), 'Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar' (1999) and the 1980 short 'Grandes Gueules Superstars'. He has also provided cover illustrations to the 'Gault et Millau' restaurant guide series, and the non-fiction books 'La Correspondance de Groucho Marx' and 'La Vie d'Arthur Rubinstein'. Since 2013, Ricord is also the author of the 'Cent Elman' crime novel series, containing the books 'Des Glaçons dans le Bordeaux' (2013), 'Mistral' (2014) and 'La Tête à l'Envers' (2015).

Since 1979, caricatures and portraits by Ricord have been featured in a great many solo and group exhibitions, held in cities like Paris, Buenos Aires, Mexico, London and Hamburg. Many of his originals are part of private collections, or international museums, like the La Contemporaine library in Paris, the Cartoonmuseum Basel and the Musée Peynet in Antibes. In June 2005, Patrice Ricord's website won a "Prize of Excellence" in a U.S. Graphic Art and Humor contest.

The graphic caricatures initiated by the 'Grandes Gueules' team have spread across the world, and were even welcomed in countries with more restrictive political regimes. In 2008, Ricord was the first European caricaturist to be officially welcomed in China, where his work was represented at an international cartoon exhibition held in the city of Guiyang. Praised as an innovator of his profession, Patrice Ricord's art has influenced artists all over the world, and has often been copied and plagiarized.

The Grandes Gueules team in 1983: Jean-Claude Morchoisne, Patrice Ricord and Jean Mulatier. On the wall we recognize caricatures of tennis champion Björn Borg, film comedian Louis de Funés, U.S. President Richard Nixon, French president Jacques Chirac, 'Superman' actor Christopher Reeve, French President Giscard d'Estaing, film comedian Bourvil, German politician Franz Jozef Strauss, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Hollywood actor Charles Bronson. 

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