After George Wallace retired in 1985 he produced a large quantity of satirical monotypes and pastels. He was a great admirer of Rowlandson and Gillray and had several of their satirical prints in his own collection. He would have appreciated their use of satire as a pointed commentary on society and political ills, but his own caricatures of businessmen is perhaps more nuanced.
In his own words: You can think of a few of these prints as a tribute to the publishing empire of the Globe and Mail [newspaper]. I now live in Victoria, far from the centre of the world and the national edition, which reassuringly thumps onto my porch six days a week, is a very attenuated version of the true gospel which can only be read in or near Toronto. However, the Report on Business in our modest edition still contains prototypes not unlike “mug-shots”. They come singly or in groups. Like a bird-watcher, I am delighted from time to time by an unpredictably large flock. There they are, the newly appointed directors, three men, one woman, all serious and experienced, gazing unsmiling and reassuringly out at me. Thank God my money or my future are at last in good hands! The lesser beings who have been promoted smile complacently at me and I am told their nicknames so that I may phone up Rick or Vera, Ted or Al to congratulate or place an order. These are small, almost passport sized photographs. Passports to where, you ask? To fame of course. They are smiling because they are all enjoying the fifteen seconds of fame that Andy Warhol told them they all deserve.
… Astonishing how people allow themselves to be portrayed this way. There is some kind of gap between the imitation mug shot and the real mug shot. I’m drawing it, and it grows in a sense as I draw it. It’s also happening as the ink is pushed across the plate, smeared…as any work of art develops physically. There is a caricature aspect to them in various degrees, but there needs to be a balance so it doesn’t become malicious; that wouldn’t work.