A popular and internationally known pop artist has sadly passed away:
Billy the Artist (also called BTA) died a few months ago at the age of 57 in his hometown New York City.
He was considered a "pioneer of "Urban Primitive Pop" and set accents with his unmistakable style of bold, bright colors and fine line designs. He created puzzle like images full of positive energy! His art is recognized on countless famous products and brands from watches to cars.
William Theodore Johann Miller, as his real name was, was born in Chicago and attended later on the prestigious University of Cincinnati‘s College „Conservatory of Music" graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1987. Acting since childhood, his dream was always to make it on Broadway. But the street art, including Keith Haring's subway paintings, had a greater pull on his creative spirit than the acting. Encouraged by the artist Lynn Marropody, a neighbor in the East Village, who often watched him drawing and sketching, BTA finally left the stage for good and took great steps into his artistic career.
Artist Gregory de la Haba, a long-time friend, dedicated a tribute to him on Instagram: "Billy was a tremendous light in my life and always made me smile from ear to ear. His first major gig was to design panels for the Broadway stage of the musical RENT, that captured the energy and vibrancy of the East Village, the place Billy has called home for the last 30 years".
With the success of the Broadway musical RENT, Miller's art gained increasing recognition from global brands and clients such as Swatch, Viacom, Lamborghini, New Balance Shoes and many others. He also worked in close cooperation with Goebel, designing new art objects that made their debut at international fairs. BTA’s art adorned products around the globe from Swatch to Nescafé.
Miller's artworks have been presented in galleries such as the Forbes Gallery in New York and other prestigious galleries around the world. Numerous publications reported on BTA: Vanity Fair, Vogue, US Weekly, The New York Times and many others.
Billy The Artist was also one of the first American artists to be allowed by the Chinese government to paint live on the famous Bund in Shanghai. Mega-collector Steve Cohen purchased one of his popular cows and musician John Baptiste enjoyed playing his custom-made piano.
Billy The Artist’s life was devoted to art and through his art he will live on forever!
Thank you to Mark Miller, brother of the deceased artist, for the convidence he has placed in the Goebel company. We look forward to a continued cooperation to keep the artist's legacy in honorable memory. R.I.P. – Billy The Artist!