Stewart Moskowitz, Internationally Known Artist and Humboldt Resident, 1941-2017
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Stewart Moskowitz, internationally known artist, died May 23, 2017, at his home in Redway, California. He was born in 1941 with a drive to create art which never left him. With his exquisite sense of design he worked day—and night—in his studio exploring the possibilities of acrylic on canvas. He produced a vast and far-ranging body of work that reflected his deep and profound sense of humor. Stewart’s charismatic personality engendered loyalty; he radiated warmth and love wherever he went.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Stewart’s first influences came from his father, a house painter and wood sculptor who carved intricate dioramas. In the late 1950s, when Stewart lived at the Chelsea Hotel, he would go out at night to soak in jazz played by luminaries like Billie Holiday. He attended Pratt Institute and the Art Students League of New York.
In Los Angeles in the 1960’s, Stewart studied at Art Center, and went on to receive his Masters of Fine Arts Degree from Otis Art Institute. His master’s thesis, entitled “Animals in a Children’s World,” expanded on his approach of creating art with the simplicity and curiosity of a child, coupled with the knowledge of an adult. In San Francisco, in the late 1960’s, Stewart was part of the ferment in the Haight-Ashbury.
In 1976, Stewart married Lelia Frimkess in the Venice, California, studio of her father, ceramicist Michael Frimkess. They raised their four children in Topanga Canyon, where they lived for 26 years before moving to the North Coast of California in 2002.
During the heyday of the poster market millions of Stewart’s images of whimsical animal characters were sold. Stewart’s art was especially popular in Japan in the 1980s, where he traveled regularly for decades and was celebrated in museum and gallery shows. His work has been used to represent Fuji Film, Mitsubishi, Sakura Bank, Japan Airlines, Suntory, and more. Simon and Schuster published four children’s books Stewart wrote for his characters.
After moving to the North Coast, as he expanded his array of subjects and statements, his art began to be influenced by politics and the local pot culture, as well as the stunning landscapes of the area.
Stewart is survived by his wife Lelia, their children Tia, Myla, Sachi and Louie, and grandchildren Kayvan and Layla.
There will be an event to honor Stewart on July 8, at 11 a.m., hosted by Peter Connelly in Southern Humboldt, California. Peter’s address is: 10 Kadin Way, Garberville. For more information please see Stewart Moskowitz’s facebook page. Donations can be made in Stewart’s name to: Heart of the Redwoods Community Hospice.org, Sanctuary Forest.org, or Planned Parenthood.org. Thank you.