The Art of Robert de Michiell
Robert de Michiell was one of the most prolific commercial illustrators of his time, with a distinctive style that was synonymous with sophisticated New York City-based entertainment and culture. His work appeared frequently in the New York Times, The New Yorker (including the cover in March, 1993), Entertainment Weekly, and Premiere Magazine’s “If You Ask Me” column for 12 years. Additionally, he created signature art for many Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, including “Oliver” (1984), “The Wind and the Willows” (1985), “Arsenic and Old Lace” (1986), “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” (1998) and “La Cage aux Folles” (2004), as well as numerous posters for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, including the organization’s annual Easter Bonnet, Gypsy of the Year, Nothing Like a Dame, Broadway Flea Market and Broadway Barks events. His illustrations have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Readers Digest, TV Guide, Hartford Courant and hundreds of newspapers and magazines around the country. His corporate work includes images for American Express, Absolut Vodka, and many others. He married Jeffrey M. Wilson on March 25, 2012, and their wedding was profiled in the New York Times. He is also survived by his mother Nan DeMichiell; sisters Gail DeMichiell and Lynn Lynch and her husband Brian, of Waterford, CT; nephews Matthew Lynch of Waterford and David Lynch of New York City; niece Jessica Harran of Waterford; uncles Ronald DeMichiell of Waterford and Dr. Bernard F. McEvoy and his wife Barbara of Schenectady, NY and his cousins. His father, Robert DeMichiell, Sr., passed away in 2014. Donations can be made in Robert’s name to The Actors Fund, 729 Seventh Ave., New York, NY, 10019 or to Calvary Fund (Calvary Hospital Hospice), 1740 Eastchester Rd., Bronx, NY 10461.
Published in The New York Times on May 8, 2016
As a young boy, Robert loved art and would copy any illustration he saw. With his father as his chaperone and biggest champion, he attended hundreds of art fairs with a sign, “You name it, I’ll draw it. One dollar. No dogs”. In 1980, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and moved to New York, which remained his home.
NOT LONG after he had moved to Manhattan in 1980, Robert de Michiell—illustrator, caricaturist, New Yorker and Entertainment Weekly contributor, and the artist for numerous ad campaigns and theater programs—discovered Fire Island Pines.
For many years, he and his husband, Jeffrey Wilson, have made the Pines their summer home-away-from-home.
To Robert, that gay oasis is like a “very warm hug.”
In 1998, he began an annual series of Fire Island watercolors, most of them created for a popular set of postcards sold in the Pines.
Robert has participated in many of the Biennial Art shows in the Pines.
This one-day retrospective—presented by ClampArt, the Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society, and de Michiell’s friends Rob Shmalo, Harry Heissmann, and James Gavin—gathers for the first time all 22 of Robert’s Fire Island images. These vibrant scenes portray Fire Island as he sees it: a whimsical, sexy, candy-colored Shangri-La, full of pumped-up beach boys frolicking in the waves and finding love beneath the setting sun. All available for sale.
One of Robert’s most recent work is for sale as a t shirt.
He was also part of a nude drawing group on Fire Island. Here are some examples of that work:
He also did portraits…
He recently had begun a work in progress mural.
He was always a big supporter of FIPHPS, and has donated two art pieces to our archives.