Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Jim Torok

Self portrait, 2004, Oil on Panel, 5 x 4″

Jim Torok was born in South Bend, Indiana. He moved to New York in 1979 to study art at Brooklyn College, and received an MFA there in 1981. Several years later, Torok began doing cartoons as a regular feature for Paper Magazine, while at the same time doing realistic paintings of interiors and objects. He also produced animations for MTV.

In the mid ‘90s he started making miniature portraits, and had his first one person show at Bill Maynes Gallery in 1997. He has been making and exhibiting both cartoons and portraits ever since. Torok’s work has been exhibited widely in the US and Europe, including a one-person show at the Denver Art Museum, and a three-person show at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Recently, several of his pieces were added to the collection of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which is scheduled to open in Los Angeles in 2023. Represented by Hyphen Advisory .

The book mentioned in the interview is My Struggle, Book 6, by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Day55, 2020, Ink on Paper, 11 x 8 1/2″
Do Not Worry About It, 2020, Acrylic on panels, 5′ x 26′


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  1. […] Jim Torok spoke to us from Brooklyn near the anniversary of the pandemic. Torok spent most of the last year in upstate New York with his wife at their second home. They left the city in mid-March just as the frenzy of grocery store pillaging was beginning. They spent their time in upstate quite isolated, leaving the house only to get groceries every few weeks. During this time, Torok was working on the two kinds of art he produces, hyper-realistic portraiture and cartoon work. He posts the cartoons to his Instagram account. These cover a wide range of topics and are vastly different from is portrait work. To hear more about Jim Torok’s art and his experiences over the last year or so, listen to the complete interview. […]

  2. Great interview Jim. I still have the portrait you did of me on 3rd street in Mishawaka. Many years ago. So glad for all your success!


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