Right around the time this shoot was conceived, I got in touch with an old friend, Gary Dobry. He is an accomplished artist whose works are on display in galleries, both in the U.S. and in Europe.
Ed Paschke (June 22, 1939 – November 25, 2004) was a Polish American painter. His childhood interest in animation and cartoons, as well as his father’s creativity in wood carving and construction, led him toward a career in art. As a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago he was influenced by many artists featured in the Museum’s special exhibitions, in particular the work of Gauguin, Picasso and Seurat.
Ed Paschke was born in Chicago in 1939, where he spent most of his life. He received his bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1961, and later his master’s degree in Art in 1970 from the same school. Drafted into the Army on November 4, 1962, he was sent to Fort Polk, Louisiana, where he worked in the Training Aids Department, working on projects including illustrations for publications, signs, targets and manuals to explain weapons and procedures to incoming troops. Like many young artists, Andy Warhol included, he worked as a window designer at a department store, having become head designer at the Carson, Pirie, Scotts located in the famous Louis Sullivan building in downtown Chicago. He also became a regular illustrator for Playboy Magazine, specializing in colorful sexually suggestive images that reflected his own fine art.
In 1976, he started to teach at Northwestern University. He was a sensitive and supportive professor, often inviting students to his Howard Street studio and forging personal relationships. He sometimes allowed his students to paint on his works-in-progress in his studio, explaining that it would keep him from falling back on his trademark “gestures.” He even embarked on a collaboration with Northwestern student Steve Albini of Big Black, though it is not known if any finished product came from the collaboration. On November 22, 1968, Ed Paschke married Nancy Cohn; the couple had a son Marc and a daughter Sharon.
Paschke lived and worked in Chicago, where he died in his house on Thanksgiving day, 2004, apparently of heart failure. His wife Nancy Paschke was an artist as well and died two months after him, on January 17, 2005, in Chicago