American Image was founded in 1979 in New York by Michael McKenzie whose photography and writing was then appearing in N.Y Times, Time, Playboy, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Paris Match, Manchete and numerous art galleries. McKenzie began silkscreening while working on a portrait series with the painters Andy Warhol and Jamie Wyeth, issuing silkscreened portrait editions which quickly sold out. Mr. McKenzie, then well known for his stark and sexually charged black and white images, gravitated to Warhol's usage of the photosilkscreen, ultimately making numerous silkscreened paintings of Warhol, Nureyev, Roy Lichtenstein, Jackie Kennedy and Barbara Streisand for museums, books, magazines, galleries and other venues globally. His portrait of Warhol and Deborah Harry was used to open the Warhol Museum and is in their permanent collection.
By the mid 1980s, McKenzie's silkscreen techniques attracted other artists and American Image expanded into editions with important American painters, including both Warhol and Larry Rivers, probably the two most colorful charaters on the New York scene. McKenzie's seminal book, Art For The 80s [Abbeville] correctly identified such then emerging artists as Basquiat, Crash, Cutrone, Dickson, Haring, Koons, Kruger, Longo, Otterness, Prince and Sherman. Appearances by McKenzie on Charlie Rose, Fresh Air and The Today Show, along with a travelling museum exhibition helped expand American Image deeper into the rich history of the New York Art Scene.
By the 1990s, American Image was producing editions with such artists as Indiana, Katz, Oldenburg, Paschke, Stella, Sultan and Wesselmann, as well as sculpture, books, museum shows, travelling exhibitions, creating for and consulting to important corporate, museum and individual collections. The company is well known for branding and re-branding projects, and has worked with major companies, celebrites and even artists in that capacity.
In the New Millenium, the atelier has expanded three times to include a production facility capable of printing editions large in numbers as well as massive in scale including works 8' x 10' on mediums as diverse as bronze, canvas, linen and wood. Our classic Robert Indiana LOVE and HOPE editions, in many ways our centerpieces, have become international treasures, our various museum portfolios have become symbols of their time and most of our new productions are wrapped around fine art printing and multimedia projects with important artists creating books, prints, paintings, sculpture, film, performance and TV all aimed at finding a place in history.