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New York - Noted Eccentric Artist Morris Katz Dies

Published on: November 14, 2010 12:18 AM
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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 

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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »


 Nov 14, 2010 at 12:22 AM mewhoze Says:

BDE, he was very talented and entertaining.


 Nov 14, 2010 at 01:05 AM Anonymous Says:

He was amazing to watch. A real character!


 Nov 14, 2010 at 02:16 AM Boochie Says:

Well the price of his art just jumped


 Nov 14, 2010 at 02:20 AM HeshyEmes Says:

I suppose with 225,000 paintings out there, none of my Morris Katz paintings will skyrocket in value upon his petirah. May he be a meilitz yoisher for klal Yisroel and he should merit oilem haboh for the many Jewish paintings that he left as a legacy.


 Nov 14, 2010 at 08:41 AM Anonymous Says:

BDE Just saw his work. Absolutely beautiful.


 Nov 14, 2010 at 09:46 AM ALLAN Says:

My family and I used to enjoy watching him paint/entertain at the Raliegh Hotel during the 1980's. He was quite the character with a very unique talent. BDE.


 Nov 14, 2010 at 09:50 AM mommy says Says:

I was once at a Zichron Shlomo chinese audtion and he was there doing his stuff, painting and selling his artwork. He was absolutely fantastic.


 Nov 14, 2010 at 11:03 AM shimonyehuda Says:

why is he being called eccentric?


 Nov 14, 2010 at 12:21 PM cowfy Says:

baruch dayin emess.wonderful jew.the funny thing about morris(moshe) was that he did'nt really accept the serious nature of his work.when i pointed out to him that his fast paintings were very similar to ancient roman wall frescos he wouldnt think about such comparisons.more then that he showed me certain paintings which were semi classical and didnt come up to the heels of his quick free work.i'm an artist and know a lot of fairly famous painters and everyone knew morris or knew of him.picasso said it took him seventy years to learn to paint as a seven year old.morris had that wonder about his work.


 Nov 14, 2010 at 09:24 PM BLONDI Says:

aw....bde.. he was definately a nice man with a great personality, and like he joked...pushing daisies now


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