CHICAGO (CBS) — The creator of the iconic Playboy bunny logo is the subject of a new documentary making its debut at the Chicago International Film Festival on Sunday.
Chicago graphic artist Art Paul was the founding art director for Playboy magazine (1953-1982) and was credited for what was called “illustration liberation.” Paul died earlier this year as filming of the documentary “ART PAUL OF PLAYBOY: The Man Behind The Bunny” was wrapping up.
“He blurred the line between fine arts and commercial arts,” said Christie Hefner, former CEO of Playboy Enterprises.
Paul was born and raised in Chicago and graduated from Sullivan High School in 1943. After enlisting in the Army Air Corps in World War II, Paul went to the Institute of Design in Chicago.
The art director was given free reign and autonomy by Playboy magazine publisher Hugh Hefner to draw, design and bring in some of the world’s most famous artists as contributors including Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol and Chicagoan Ed Paschke.
“Art Paul represents a really important part of Chicago design history,” said James Goggin, the former Director of Design and Publishing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. “He studied at the new Bauhaus here in Chicago, was involved in one of the biggest magazines in 20th century popular culture in America, and straddled the fields of art and design as a practitioner.”
Over the last decade, Paul created his own paintings and drawing, as well as composing music. He suffered from macular degeneration but continued his artistic pursuits.
“ART PAUL OF PLAYBOY: The Man Behind The Bunny” will be screened at the Chicago Film Festival on Sunday October 14. Visit the event’s site for theaters and showtimes.