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 James Rizzi  (1950 - 2011)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: cartoon style modern urban theme painting

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
New York, animated motif of the city by day
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist from, dated 12/16/2011

It's with great distress and sorrow that we have to announce the death of James Rizzi. The world famous pop artist died peacefully in his sleep in his studio in SoHo, New York, the night after Christmas. His sudden and unexpected death comes as a shock to family, friends, and collectors alike

James Rizzi became famous for the 3D paper sculptures he invented, the playful and childlike forms and bright colors of which were to become his artistic trademark. Thus he acquired a large international following across all age groups and classes. Another claim to fame came through the application of his distinctive style to a large variety of everyday objects - from Rizzi stamps to the Rizzi house, from Rizzi puzzles to the Rizzi jet plane, from Rizzi chinaware to Rizzi cars and trains. Throughout his life, Rizzi contributed to a number of charities, the wellbeing of children being particularly close to his heart. This is one of the reasons why a public school in Duisburg, Germany, bears his name since this year.

James Rizzi died in the city he was born in, New York, which influenced his life as well as his work greatly. He was in the middle of preparing for new projects when death struck him.

In James Rizzi the art world loses one of the last great pop artists, and we lose a good friend and a wonderful human being.

Jimmy, you will be missed.

Bernhard Feil,? Stephen Hamann & Alexander Lieventhal

Online Source:

Biography from
At first glance, James Rizzi's art may easily be mistaken for the early artistic efforts of a young child.  This is not an entirely erroneous judgment, for it is certain that Rizzi wants to incorporate the freshness and vitality of children's art in his work.  In this regard he is not alone.  Some of the great artists of the twentieth century, including Klee, Dubuffet and Miro, deliberately used a primitive, childlike style in their mature work.

Rizzi, born and raised in New York, has turned his childlike imagination into artistic powers to transforming the city itself into something wonderfully original.  His large panorama of urban life are teeming with energy and life, reflecting all the diversity and human variety that is at the core on New York.

These are not "mean" streets but uproariously happy ones, where children jump rope, shoot baskets, and walk their dogs.  If the sidewalks belong to the young people, grown ups, especially men, are imprisoned inside an army of automobiles.  The vehicles are as diverse as and crazily idiosyncratic as the people who drive them.

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