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Art Lozzi – RIP

Animation background artist Art Lozzi has passed away.


Arminio Guido (Art) Lozzi
October 22, 1929 – November 4, 2019

A career outline and a description of Art’s style from Animation Resources:

Worked as an inbetweener at MGM and Disney, submitted humorous cartoons to magazines such as the New Yorker, designed holiday cards, worked on Tom Jerry mostly; was in the Navy in the Naval Training Films to work on storyboards, soon worked for Hannah Barbera in the 50s-60s; worked on architectural interior design for the Hilton Hotel Chain, moved to Europe to work on it as well as designing cruise ships and other designs for Hilton

His method of doing BGs was to keep making backgrounds over and over and over, they had an established style for each show and developed it for each individual show, and once that was set up, new artists had to keep to the style so that each show would be unique. His BGs are very graphic in the sense that it was with simple shapes and excellent use of color to describe the setting of the story, especially since it was all done with natural media.

The Internet Movie Database has an Art Lozzi filmography.

In 2007 Art was interviewed by Simon Sandall about his career in animation:

ART LOZZI: The rise in interest in my H-B backgrounds actually was there for some time. I had no idea. I learned of it first towards the end of last year (2006) through an article that was sent to me by a Hollywood friend.

In the Animation World Magazine, John Kricfalusi [creator of Ren and Stimpy] spoke of my backgrounds in glowing terms: “…Ed Benedict’s designs, Walt Clinton’s layouts and Art Lozzi’s absolutely amazing backgrounds. He used more subtle, more harmonious colors. Lozzi was an unsung hero and not too many people know about him”…and more. You can see how this completely floored me.

John K. then proceeded to do a few posts on my work, which in turn lit up new interest in the students, etc., making me aware of the rebirth of animation.

Animation students today seem impressed by the idea that backgrounds were actually painted with brushes and paints, using stencils and sponges. “Wow!” they say. Modern day technology doesn’t teach that. Their comments on these posts are astounding. I always thought that when you painted a background, you used paint.

As mentioned in that interview excerpt Art had fallen out of memory until John (Ren and Stimpy) Kricfalusi began singing his praises. Art and John began a correspondence that resulted in Art’s essays (really his letters to John) being posted on John’s blog. An in-depth look at Art’s background work at Hanna-Barbera with an emphasis on color.
Here is the link to Art’s entries on the John K Stuff blog.

 

 

Community Comments

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#1 Kip Williams
November/30/2019
@ 5:28 pm

There’s some irony in the way his work was so good as to be invisible.

Thanks for marking the passing of an artist in his craft. I expect there are people now imitating him (on computers) who don’t know who they’re working from. It’s our loss.

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