NICHOLAS ZANN BIOGRAPHY
Nicholas Zann was born in 1943 in New York City, where he resides today. His career spans five decades. From the beginning, his work has covered multifaceted terrain: since the 1950s, he has consistently worked in the fields of painting, illustration, and music. In 1956, after the submission of a painting to Lever House, which was exhibited on the premises that year, Zann received a scholarship to attend Pratt Institute. In 1958, he transferred to the High School of Industrial Arts (later known as High School of Art and Design), from which he graduated in 1961.
From 1957 to 1965, Zann fronted a Rock ’n’ Roll band with which he recorded and toured internationally. It was not until 1965, when inspired by an illustration assignment commissioned by ABC’s Les Crane Show (1964), that Zann began to pursue fine art full time. While commencing a professional career in illustration, Zann continued his fine art studies at the School of Visual Arts under the guidance of Jack Potter and Burne Hogarth. In the following decades, Zann became known as one of the most innovative and prolific cartoonists and illustrators of his generation, whose work was frequently published in magazines such as Newsweek, comic books, as well as in daily newspapers. Zann’s illustrations for “The Status Book” were shown on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in 1978. In 1982, he received the prestigious Illustrator’s Society Award and in 1990, MTV aired a special profile edition on Karl Lagerfeld, Andy Warhol and Nicholas Zann.
Since the early 1990s, Zann has been profiled in Who’s Who and in 1995, Zann’s book cover of The Saint, showcased by Robert Evans, was discussed on the Charlie Rose Show. In 2003, Zann created and illustrated a card game entitled “The Answer Deck,” which, published by Running Press, is being sold in book stores worldwide. In addition to his commercial work, Zann has painted figurative compositions since the 1980s. His portraits explore nuances in human relationships, between men and women, children and adults, friends, lovers, competitors. In 1995, Constance Emmerich commissioned Zann to paint a 7’ x 7’ panel to accompany Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Harbison’s chamber music piece. The painting premiered on the stage of Merkin Concert Hall in New York City and was subsequently shown in Europe. Zann’s work is part of many private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, MA (Collection of Thomas F. Parker)