Michael McKenzie

The beginning of American Image really happened at the 1964 World’s Fair when I met Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol and Philip Johnson at the New York State Pavilion with my grandmother. I was hooked on Pop Art right there and it is less than a coincidence that I ended up working with those three geniuses on numerous projects. Later, in college, I started a magazine of Art & Poetry rendered in calligraphy. It attracted a Who’s Who of American poets, including Harvey Shapiro who was then the editor-in-chief of The NY Times Magazine and the NY Times Book Review, as well as head of The Columbia Journalism School, a scholar, a judge for The Pulitzer and a great poet. Most importantly though, Harvey was very humble, a fantastic teacher and in many ways mentored my work as an artist, author and publisher, all of which he, obviously, understood quite well. Inspiring genius. The magazine attracted several Pulitzer Prize Winners – Mark Strand, John Ashbery, Anthony Hecht, Robert Creeley – some high profile writers, mainly through Harvey, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Mario Puzo, Norman Mailer as well as John Hollander, the voice of Shape Poetry. It also attracted the man Hollander deemed “The greatest shape poet ever. Who else could make a poem and a work of art from a single word but Robert Indiana.”

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