Frank Kozik Dies: Artist and Kidrobot Toy Designer Was 61 Years Old

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Frank Kozik, the iconic graphic artist behind album covers, including babyThe self-titled debut album of “Americana” and Queens of the Stone Age is dead. He was 61 years old.

Kozik’s death was confirmed by his wife, Sharon, who did not give a cause of death but said his death was “unexpected”.

In a statement he said: “We are devastated to inform you that Frank Kozik passed away unexpectedly last Saturday. Frank was an older man, an icon in each of the genres he worked with. It dramatically changed every industry it was a part of. He was a creative force of nature. We are so lucky and honored to be a part of his journey and he will be missed more than words can express.”

“I loved his wife, his cats, his classic powerful cars, his mentoring of others, and Disneyland. His powerful presence will be missed by everyone who knew him. His legacy, like all great masters, will live on lovingly through his art and our memories of him. More information on a memorial service will come soon. For now, we ask that you please respect our privacy during this challenging time.”

Born on January 9, 1962, in Madrid, Spain, Kozik spent his formative years growing up under Franco, Spain’s fascist dictator. As a teenager, he moved to the United States, living with his father in Sacramento before joining the Air Force, where he was stationed in Austin.

A self-taught artist, in his late teens, he began creating artwork for groups of friends, starting with black and white flyers pasted on telephone poles. He soon moved on to concert posters, including large silkscreen prints of bands like Pearl Jam, The White Stripes, The Beastie Boys, Green Day, Neil Young, and Nirvana. He has also directed a number of music videos, including Soundgarden’s “Pretty Noose.”

Kozik eventually formed his own label, Man’s Ruin Records, and released more than 200 singles and albums by artists, including the Sex Pistols and Queens of the Stone Age (his debut single was released through Man’s Ruin Records). Kozik also designed most of the artworks.

In the early 1990s, Kozik closed his label to focus on other media, including toys and collectibles. He became the chief creative officer of collectibles company Kidrobot, designing more than 500 limited edition figures, including iconic Labbit characters (vinyl smoking bunnies), collaborating with licensees like DC and Marvel to create superhero-inspired versions.

His work, which has inspired a generation of graphic artists and collectible toy designers, has also seen him collaborate with brands like Nike and Swatch.

A number of musicians and artists paid tribute to Kozik on social media, including drummer Martin Atkins, who worked with Nine Inch Nails and Killing Joke. Atkins tweeted: “I’m so sorry to hear of Frank Kozik’s passing. One of his first posters was #pigface from 1991 and he kindly allowed us to reproduce it a few years ago. rip bro.”

Label Rocket Recordings also paid tribute and wrote: “Sorry to hear the news of Frank Kozik’s untimely death. He had such a huge impact in Rocket’s early days that he designed our first logo. A great and sad loss for DIY art and culture. Rest in Strength, Frank.”

Kozik was survived by his wife, Sharon.

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