New York – Eccentric artist Morris Katz, in a career spanning six decades, used toilet paper to create instant art – and a lasting legacy.
The Polish-born Katz, hailed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest and most prolific painter, died Friday after reportedly suffering a stroke. He was 78.
Katz’s motto, as detailed in a book and his worldwide appearances, was simple: “Paint it good, paint it fast and sell it cheap.”
Katz moved to New York with his family in 1949 and launched his unique approach seven years later – using only a palette knife and wads of toilet paper to produce his paintings.
The rolls of bathroom tissue were used to clean the knife or create shadings and shapes.
The artist was cited by the Guinness book after completing one painting – a child in the snow – in a mere 38 seconds. Katz sold more than 225,000 pieces of art in his career, setting another record.
In 1987, during a 12-hour stretch at the Penta Hotel in Manhattan, Katz cranked out 103 paintings – and peddled 55 in a fund-raiser for the Boy Scouts of America.
While his work often sold for $150 or less, Katz’s paintings appeared in museums worldwide.
His technique made Katz a pseudo-celebrity, earning him appearances opposite Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman and Regis Philbin.
Katz’s website boasted that he made more than 600 television appearances during his career. The artist kept galleries in Greenwich Village and Jerusalem.
Katz web site: http://www.morriskatz.com/index.cfm