Art Center College of Design
"I have learned to accept the fact that even as I draw, I may not fully understand what is being created. This can be freeing and a little unsettling, but I keep going until it doesn’t matter what the objects are, but rather how they feel."
-Leon Rosenblatt 2010
After graduating from the Art Center College of Design, Leon Rosenblatt began working as a fine artist in Los Angeles and Miami. In 1974 Rosenblatt moved to New York, where he worked as an illustrator for clients such as RCA Records, The National Lampoon Magazine, Random House Publishing, Del Ray Science Fiction, Ace Pocket Books, Penthouse Magazine, Radio Shack and others. His paintings for Random House and The National Lampoon Magazine were honored in the National Society of Illustrators Annuals.
In 1976 he accepted a Fellowship at the University of Miami, where he created a process called Stat Art: a technique incorporating drawing and mixed media on large sheets of commercial copy film in conjunction with light sensitive newspaper printing plates. Stat Art allowed unusually large runs of original lithographic art to be printed on large commercial newspaper presses with no image deterioration.
Upon completing his Masters Degree, Rosenblatt joined The Miami Herald as Tropic Magazine’s Art Director and began experimenting with Stat Art pieces as illustrations in the Herald. Encouraged by his editors, he asked one of the world’s foremost artists, Robert Rauschenberg, to create an original piece of Stat Art as a wrap around cover for The Miami Herald’s Tropic Sunday Magazine.
Knight Ridder Corporation, which owned the Miami Herald offered their permission if Rauschenberg would agree to the project, using Rosenblatt’s Stat Art process to create the world’s largest edition original lithograph as the cover for Tropic.
Then, “just for fun” Rosenblatt also asked Rauschenberg to hand sign one hundred copies for subscribers picked randomly by the Herald’s computer. On the last Sunday of 1979, the world’s largest edition of an original lithograph, by one of the world’s most famous artists, hit the front lawns of South Florida.
Rosenblatt was subsequently honored as a nominee for the Florida Governor’s Award for the Arts and asked to present two of the four original press plates and signed artist’s proofs to the Smithsonian Institute, as well as the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He later worked on more projects with Robert Rauschenberg, helping to secure the artist’s support and production of a piece for he Detroit Institute of the Arts Cliche Verre Exhibition in the summer of 1980.
He was invited to “officially” interview Andy Warhol, the notoriously laconic Pop artist in 1982. Rosenblatt’s portrait of the artist accompanied the interview in the Miami Herald. Later on, Rosenblatt produced Key West Fantasy Fest for Andy Warhol’s cable television channel in New York, as well as coordinated a project involving Warhol’s visit to South Florida in order to create portraits of several prominent Miamians
After Warhol’s untimely death, Rosenblatt was asked to write a commemorative piece about the enigmatic artist for Knight Ridder’s wire service.
Before leaving the Herald, Rosenblatt interviewed and photographed the artist Cristo, during his controversial Covered Islands piece in Biscayne Bay, Florida.
Rosenblatt has also been a features contributor to The Miami Herald, Miami Magazine, New Times and Islands Magazine, which picked Rosenblatt’s story and photo essay on the history of Marsh Harbour’s mail boats for their Tenth Anniversary issue.
He is the founder of Parallel Designed, a branding design company in Mill Valley, California, where he currently resides with his wife Stephanie.
Contact: Leon Rosenblatt