My introduction to Frank Kozik’s work was seeing his rock posters in the ’90s. It was freaky, incredible stuff. A color-rich combination of pin-ups, cartoons, psychedelia, and hot rods. Coming of age in a world where photocopied collages advertised punk shows, I was overwhelmed by his far-out, creepy, hilarious take on the lowly flier. More recently, he’s made his mark in the niche world of art toys with such signature creations as Smorkin’ Labbit, a surly, husky rabbit with a cigarette that may be a stand-in for the artist himself.
So when the call came to interview him, I had some preconceptions.
What I found out was, Frank Kozik is many things. An electrical engineer. A businessman. A big dude. Concerned about the current political climate. Concerned about the future. But there’s one thing he apparently is not.
“There is no great message behind my work. I’m a craftsman. I’m not an artist,” said Kozik, 52, lighting the first of several cigarettes he would smoke on the afternoon we spent together.
Frank Kozik – the man who famously helped to revive the art of the rock poster, and who is currently one of the biggest names in the art-toy movement – is, in his own words, not an artist.
“You have no idea how boring it is to draw all day. It fucking eats shit.”
For more on Kozik’s history and attitude toward his work, read the full interview in DINOSAUR No. 1.