|Born in 1930, for the past forty years R.O. Blechman has been a major force in the field of illustration.
His illustrations have appeared on 19 covers of The New Yorker and the pages of Rolling Stone, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar and Fortune, along with endpages for The New York Times Book Review. He has had one-man exhibits in New York, Paris, and Munich. Blechman�s artwork is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress and the Chase Manhattan Bank. His studio has had major retrospectives at The Art Director�s Club, The Ottawa International Animation Festival and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1983 Adweek named him "Illustrator of the Year". In 1999 he was elected to the Art Directors Hall of Fame.
Twenty-five years ago he branched into animation, and now pursues a dual career as illustrator and director of the New York based studio, The Ink Tank. His hour-long animated version of Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat was broadcast on public television and won an Emmy for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation Programming." This year the London Philharmonic Orchestra screened it with a live performance. In January 2003, The Museum of Modern Art presented a retrospective of his animated films. L�Histoire du Soldat was again accompanied by a live performance by the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.
He is also the author of seven graphic novels, two of which were selected as A.I.G.A. "50 Books of the Year." R.O. Blechman�s first book, The Juggler of Our Lady, was written in 1953 when Blechman was as a 23-year-old. It was selected as an American Institute of Graphic Arts "50 Books of The Year"; Maurice Sendak described it as "rich in graphic and psychological detail...[that] powerfully pulled together in a single work a variety of disparate elements, which, up to that point in my career, I had imagined unjoinable."