Artist Spotlight: Marshall Arisman

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Monday, February 9th, 2015

There aren’t many within the illustration community who command as much respect as Marshall Arisman. His work spans countless media, and his name has graced some of the world’s top publications over the last 50+ years including Harpers, Time, US News and World Report, and many others. In fact, in 1999 Arisman became the first American illustrator to be invited to mainland China to exhibit his art. That was a big deal then, and it’s still a big deal today.

Many of Arisman’s illustrations have been exhibited around the world, from the United States to Europe and Asia. His work has explored themes of aggressiveness and violence, with expressionist themes and influences always playing a part. Arisman uses everything including rags, pallet knifes, and even his hands in his application of paint, giving him a unique style of work.

Born: 1938, Jamestown, New York

Famous work: 1980 Time Magazine Cover of Darth Vader

Facts About Arisman:

  • Marshall Arisman has been at the forefront of illustration for over five decades.
  • He has done illustrations for many major magazines, including Harpers, Time, and US Weekly.
  • Arisman’s work has been exhibited in galleries all over the world and his work is featured in the National Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Smithsonian.
  • He co-authored Inside the Business of Illustration with Stephen Heller.
  • Mr. Arisman is the subject of a full-length documentary film directed by Tony Silver titled “Facing the Audience: The Arts of Marshall Arisman.”
  • QUOTE: “Communication is part of the fun, right? It’s just so good when people respond, and say, ‘I know exactly what you mean’ or ‘These pictures mean something to me.’ That’s the nice communication.” –Marshall ArismanIllustration by Wes Morris ‘09