Todd Schorr was born on January 9, 1954 in New York City and grew up as a child in Oakland, New Jersey. Showing a compulsion for drawing at an early age, his parents enrolled him in Saturday morning art classes when he was five years old. Deeply affected by fantasy movies such as the 1933 film class “King Kong” and the early animated cartoons of Walt Disney and Max Fleischer, their influence along with comic books such as “Mad” would have a lasting effect on Schorr’s developing visual vocabulary.
Playing in bands as a drummer in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Todd fell under the spell of the psychedelic dance posters coming out of San Francisco and underground comics best exemplified by “Zap”. While visiting the Uffizi gallery in Italy on a trip to Europe in the summer of 1970, Schorr began to formulate his idea of combining his love of cartoons with the painting techniques of the Old Masters.
He entered the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) in 1971 wanting to be a painter but was advised by his first year painting instructors that he’d be better suited in the illustration department. Schorr began getting professional illustration work while still in college, and soon after graduating in 1976, he moved to New York City where he provided work for a wide variety of projects including album covers for AC/DC, movie posters for George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, and covers for Time magazine that now reside in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
By 1985, Schorr had become increasingly frustrated with the creative restrictions imposed by commercial assignments and began to make a concentrated effort to break away from ad agency halls and move on to art gallery walls. Being invited to participate in the 1986 landmark exhibition “American Pop Culture Images Today” which took place in the Laforet Museum in Tokyo, Japan along with other artists flown over for the event including his wife Kathy Staico, Robert and Suzanne Williams, Neon Park, Bob Zoell, Georganne Deen, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Gary Panter, proved to be a galvanizing experience. By 1992 Todd had severed all ties to illustration boosted in large part from the success of his first one person show held at the Tamara Bane gallery in the same year. He had finally come to realize his dream of being able to make a living from painting anything his imagination could conjure.
The Schorr’s had moved to Connecticut from New York in 1986, but by 1998 they had decided to relocate to Los Angeles where their artistic compatriots as well as the majority of their collectors were centered. Today Todd enjoys a loyal following of fans and collectors that spans the globe. The so-called “Lowbrow” art movement that he and his contemporaries helped form almost 25 years ago is now a global phenomenon.