Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Patrick Nagel was born in Dayton, Ohio, but was brought up in the Los Angeles area, where he spent most of his life. He studied art at Chouinard Art Institute, and in 1969 received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University at Fullerton. Beginning in 1976, Nagel began contributing regularly to Playboy, which extended the exposure and popularity of "the Nagel Woman" to a huge and loyal audience. In 1978, he created his first poster image for Mirage Editions. He also painted the cover of rock group Duran Duran's Rio album, which became the number one album in the world. During his lifetime, Nagel's work was exhibited in several one-man shows; his first exhibition of painting sold out within fifteen minutes. His posters have been collected by such prestigious institutions as the Library of Congress, the Oakland Museum, and the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at U.C.L.A. Permanent collections of his work are housed at the Bibliotheque des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, and the Smithsonian Institution. Among the awards Nagel received were recognition by Communication Arts, Art Direction, and Graphis. Patrick Nagel died of a heart attack in 1984 at the age of 38, but his art lives on.