Frank Kozik, a famous graphic artist and designer from San Francisco who started out making punk rock posters and flyers in the early 1980s and went on to own his own record label and try his hand at fine art and toy design, has d!ed at the age of 61, his family said in a post on social media.
On (3 May 2023) Tuesday afternoon, Kozik’s Instagram account, a message purportedly made by his wife, stated that he had d!ed suddenly on Saturday, May 6.
“He dramatically changed the industry he was a part of. He was a creative force of nature. We are so lucky and honored to have been part of his journey, and he will be missed beyond what words could ever express,” the statement said.
The post can be seen below:
View this post on Instagram
After growing up in Sacramento, California, self-taught artist Frank Kozik moved to Austin, Texas, while serving in the United States Air Force. There, he began designing concert posters and promotional materials for punk bands.
Kozik’s posters and flyers gained him a local following that grew as his unconventional work was recognized nationally and internationally. He was known for placing well-known pop culture characters, often taken from cartoons and comic books, in surreal, subversive, irreverent, and sometimes violent scenarios.
Posters and other artwork using his distinctive style were commissioned by influential bands, including Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, the Offspring, the Melvins, the White Stripes, and the Beastie Boys in the late ’80s and ’90s.
Kozik moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s, when he opened a print business and later founded the Man’s Ruin record label. This imprint would release over 200 recordings by local and international artists. During the dot-com boom of the early 2000s, Kozik lost the lease on his office space and was thus forced to close the label.
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He then became the chief creative officer at the San Francisco firm Kidrobot, where he focused on fine art and the growing sector of collectible toy design. Kozik’s famous “Smorkin Labbit,” a fat rabbit figure that typically has a cig@rette dangling from its mouth, is one of the company’s most recognizable products.
There was no announcement of the de@th’s cause. Sharon, Kozik’s wife, and the couple’s pets are all he leaves behind. The details of a public memorial will be announced at a later time.
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