James Rizzi, New York Based Pop Artist, Dies at 61

Although his cause of death was not announced, Rizzi’s managers, Art 28 GmbH & Co. KG, said in statement posted on the artist’s website that he passed peacefully in his sleep on December 26.

“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,” the statement read.

Born in Brooklyn in 1950, Rizzi later studied Fine Arts at the University of Florida before returning to his home state in the 70s where he initially made his name as a street artist. Over time his colorful animations (seen below),which have made their way on to an assortment of objects including airplanes, chinaware, cars, stamps and trains, earned him a a large international following, especially in Germany.

According to the statement posted on James’ website following his passing, 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.”

Check out some of James’ work below:

via Washington Post

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