Todd Schorr (born January 9, 1954) is an American artist and one the most prominent members of the "Lowbrow" art movement or pop surrealism.
Fantastic imagery, cartoon characters, and other pop culture icons rendered with an exacting technique and colorful palette defines the style of Schorr’s artwork. His iconic work to date is “A Pirate’s Treasure Dream'', 2006, which depicts a plethora of zany phantoms and animals (such as Donald Duck, Coco the Clown, and a Worry-Bird), parading around the Los Angeles art collector Long Gone John. Todd Schorr is one of the most successful/most expensive living artists in the Lowbrow scene.
Schorr studied Illustration and graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art. His art and illustrations have been included in Time, New York Times, and Juxtapoz Magazine, to name a few. He is married to fellow Lowbrow artist, Kathy Staico Schorr. Both live and work in Beverly Hills, California.
High Mind in the Lowbrow
A while ago, Lowbrow exhibitions "came and went with little fanfare." Indeed, "the mainstream art world has never known quite what to make of artists like Schorr. And so, their work has been dismissed as "lowbrow art," thus absolving anyone with good taste and sophistication of any obligation to take it seriously. The implication seems to be that an artist of real talent and intellect would never squander his time and energy on something such as Schorr's Burger Deluxe (1997)..." Moreover, when in comes to the Lowbrow art movement, "the art world is a slow-moving beast and to get its attention, you have to jump through the hoops", says Francesco LoCastro, a nationally recognized South Florida curator.
"Clash of Holidays" Controversy in Florida
'Clash of Holidays' caused a scandal when it was exhibited in 2002, when South Florida civil leaders accused Schorr of blasphemy and others raising this as an issue over artistic freedom. A retrospective for Schorr entitled, "Secret Mystic Rites: Todd Schorr Retrospective," was organized by the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida, on December 14 - February 17, 2002. A huge controversy immediately ensued due to the museum's invition for the exhibition which depicted Shorr's 'Clash of Holidays' painting. The "museum managers mailed out about 4000 post cards showing 'Clash of the Holidays'. The outrage started there. 'Clash of the Holidays' depicts...Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny locked in mortal combat. Santa's wielding an ax. The rabbit has a knife. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Baby Jesus, who's munching on an ear from a chocolate rabbit, stand by."
"It was just a joke, really, like lot of my paintings that poke fun at things, comments Schorr, who completed the piece in 2000, then sold it to Courteney Cox Arquette of Friends television show fame." Initially, "leaders of Art and Culture Center of Hollywood...had decided to take down the painting that had drawn nasty phone calls, e-mails, and criticism from the City Commission." The controversy died down after meetings between local, state, and museum officials concerning artist's rights, free speech and censorship.
The Treasures of Long Gone John
In 2006, a feature-length documentary titled "The Treasures of Long Gone John", was released. The film is described as "A chronicle of the eccentric art and musical obsessions of indie record producer and self-described 'anti-mogul,' Long Gone John".The film features Schorr, Long Gone John and other Lowbrow artists as it chronicles the progress of the commissioned painting “A Pirate's Treasure Dream” using time-lapse photography.
* 2006 A Pirate’s Treasure Dream
* 2003 Futility in the Face of a Hostile World
* 2002 Into the Valley of Finks and Weirdos
* 2000 A Spectre of Cartoon Appeal
* 2000 A Spectre of Monster Appeal
* 2006 Gallery Mondo Bizarro, Rome, Italy
* 2005 Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY
* 2002 Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida, "Todd Schorr Retrospective"
* 1998 Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
* 1997 Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA