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Artist Morris Katz dies

  • FILE PHOTO Artist Morris Katz at a Palmerton Hospital Telethon.
    FILE PHOTO Artist Morris Katz at a Palmerton Hospital Telethon.
Published November 16. 2010 05:00PM

Morris Katz of New York, considered the "world's fastest artist," died Friday after reportedly suffering a stroke. He was 78.

Katz had appeared on many local telethons in past years, especially those which were held for the Palmerton Hospital.

On the telethons, he would do his paintings usually taking him just minutes which were then auctioned or sold with the proceeds benefiting the hospital.

He appeared at such fundraisers throughout the country, doing paintings and donating them.

In July 1987, he painted for 12 consecutive hours at an event in New York City during which he completed 103 paintings, selling 44 on the spot, with the proceeds donated to the Boy Scouts of America.

Katz is listed twice in the Guiness Book of World Records once for being the fastest artist in the world and second for painting more paintings than any other artist alive or dead. He beat out Picasso in the 1990s for the latter claim.

He is listed in Ripley's Believe It or Not as a human oddity for painting full works of art in less than five minutes.

Morris had a career spanning six decades.

He did a portrait of Pope Paul VI which sold over three million copies in reproduction internationally.

More han 100 museums around the globe own and have exhibited his art, including the Smithsonian which has three of his paintings on display.

Born in Poland, Katz studied painting under Dr. Hans Fokler of the Munich Academy.

He moved to New York with his family in 1949 and launched his unique approach seven years later using only a palette and wads of toilet paper to produce his paintings.

The rolls of bathroom tissue were used to clean the knife or create shadings and shapes.

Katz has appeared on "Sixty Minutes," Oprah Winfrey, David Letterman, Regis Philbin, and "Prime Time Live."

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