French author and illustrator Tomi Ungerer, has died aged 87, leaving behind a formidable artistic legacy that includes over 140 books, translated into more than 28 languages.
Ungerer, a resident of Ireland for more than three decades, passed away in his West Cork home.
RIP our beloved Tomi. Words escape us at this difficult moment but in the end, Tomi says it best. Yvonne, Aria, Pascal, Lukas and Phoebe Ungerer.— Tomi Ungerer (@TomiUngerer) February 9, 2019
Video Brad Bernstein & Rick Cikowski pic.twitter.com/b9A1PTKqVJ
Best known for his known for his illustrations in children's book classics Moon Man (1966), which he also wrote, and Jeff Brown's Flat Stanley (1964), Ungerer was a versatile and prolific talent. While based in the US, he produced some of the most iconic imagery of the 1960s and ‘70s, with a series of striking - and often controversial - visual commentaries protesting American involvement in Vietnam. His motto, "Expect the Unexpected," became a tagline used in a series of ads he conceived for legendary NYC newspaper The Village Voice.
Over a career lasting a half-century, Ungerer created everything from boundary-challenging erotica to provocative political art, while penning a series of best-selling children’s books acclaimed for their mischievous wit and childlike innocence. He moved to Ireland in 1976, following a difficult period which saw his children's work removed from US bookshelves following the publication of an adult-only tome entitled Fornicon.
In 2003, Ungerer was appointed as the first Ambassador for Childhood and Education by the Council of Europe, and in 2007 the Tomi Ungerer Museum opened in his birthplace, Strasbourg, making him the first living artist to have a museum dedicated to their life and work in France. In 2012, his life was the subject of an acclaimed documentary, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough:
Ungerer is survived by his wife, Yvonne, daughters Phoebe and Aria, and sons Pascal and Lukas - his funeral will take place in Bantry this week.
Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of the legendary #French #illustrator #TomiUngerer. He was the Guest of Honor of our #ComicBook Festival last year where he was crowned by @illustratorsIRL. Hail to the King! pic.twitter.com/VLEEYvaNLf— Alliance Française (@afdublin) February 9, 2019