James Rizzi, who died on 26 December aged 61, was a New York pop artist best known for his playful and childlike three-dimensional sculptures. Rizzi developed a large international following, especially in Germany, where last year a school in Duisburg was named after him. In 2008 he became the first living artist to design stamps for the German government.
Rizzi (right, EPA, in front of the "Rizzi locomotive" in Hamburg), was born in Brooklyn and studied art at the University of Florida. He returned to New York in 1974 and first made his name as a street artist. He came up with the idea of the 3D work he is best known for when he was taking classes in painting, printmaking and sculpture and had to hand in grade work for all three subjects, but only had time for one. He made an etching, printed it twice, hand-coloured it and mounted parts of one print on top of the other, using wire to add depth. Having received good grades from all three teachers, he stuck with the idea.
James Rizzi, artist: born New York 5 October 1950; married Gaby Hamill (marriage dissolved); died New York 26 December 2011.