Morris Katz (born Moshe Katz on March 5, 1932 – November 12, 2010) was a Polish-American painter. He holds two Guinness World Records as the world's fastest painter and the world's most prolific artist. He has also been called the "King of Schlock Art" and the "King of Toilet Paper Art" because of a novel means of painting he developed using a palette knife and toilet tissue instead of a paintbrush.[1]

Early life

Katz was born in 1932 in Galicia, Poland.[2] At age 13 he studied under Dr. Hans Fokler of the Munich Academy.[1][2] After World War II, he lived for a while in a displaced persons camp, where he earned a diploma in carpentry, and he said later that toilet paper was his "diploma in art."[1]

He moved to the United States in 1949, when he took a job in carpentry while maintaining a sideline with his art.[1] While working on his unpublished Dictionary of Color in 1956, he decided to try painting with his palette knife instead of his brushes.[1] After some time he also began experimenting with the use of rags; when he ran out of rags he turned to toilet tissue.[1] As of February 2007, over his career he had painted more than 280,000 paintings.[3]

Over his long career, he established himself as a painter, comedian and television personality.[1][4]

An obituary [5] described him as "creating 'instant art' and entertaining generations of guests in the old Borscht Belt hotels.

Instant Art

Katz described his method as "Instant Art,"[6] as he completed entire paintings in as little as 30 seconds.[7][8]

In a 1987 event to benefit the Boy Scouts of America, Katz completed 103 paintings (selling 55 of them on the spot) in 12 hours.[8] He is listed as a human oddity in Ripley's Believe It Or Not because of his ability to paint full works of art in less than five minutes.[3]

A 2003 review of a serious painting [9] said "Normally this artist's works are notable only for their carefree and speedy execution, but this painting is a welcome exception."

Death

Katz died on November 12, 2010 after suffering a stroke. He was 78.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Salzberg, Charles (Nov 13, 1978). "The King of Toilet Paper Art". New York Magazine/New York Media. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography for Morris Katz". imdb.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  3. ^ a b "The World's Fastest Painter Returns to Boca Raton". Yaacov Heller. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  4. ^ "Instant Art Show". imdb.com. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  5. ^ The Jewish Press, Nov. 19, 2010
  6. ^ using the motto Paint it good, paint it fast, and sell it cheap" page 3,The Jewish Press,Nov. 19, 2010
  7. ^ "Morris Katz "The World's Fastest Artist"". Morris Katz. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  8. ^ a b "Morris Katz - World's Fastest Painter". zionbooks.com. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  9. ^ http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/15335/