Artist James Rizzi dies at 61

james-rizzi-1.jpgPop artist James Rizzi has passed away at the age of 61, says manager Alexander Lieventhal in a statement. His manager says he had a heart condition and Rizzi died in his art studio Monday (Dec. 26).

The statement also says:

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.

Rizzi was the official artist for the 1996 Summer Olympics, the World Cup games in France and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The Brooklyn-native artist participated in a large exhibition called "Thirty Years of American Printmaking" at the Brooklyn Museum.

He also designed three different versions of the 1999 Volkswagen beetle and decorated a jet for Lufthansa. Rizzi was survived by his mother, a sister and a brother.


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Photo/Video credit: Getty Images