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The Official Mort Künstler Website

Shy Killer, The

Shy Killer, The

Regular price $495.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $495.00 USD
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The Premier and Collector’s editions are shipped FREE* and UNSTRETCHED. Stretching is available at an additional charge. Please contact us for pricing: 800-850-1776 or

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Custom framing is available for this print. Please call 800-850-1776 or email for more information.

Giclée Canvas Prints
Reproduction technique: Giclées are printed with the finest archival pigmented inks on canvas.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Signature Edition Size: 16” x 24”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 100
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 10

Classic Edition Size: 20” x 30”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 50
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 10

Premier Edition Size: 26” x 39”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 15
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 5

Collector’s Edition Size: 34” x 51”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 5
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 2

About this Painting
Mort Künstler did this painting for the October 1955 edition of Outdoor Life as an illustration for The Shy Killer by Jim Reardon. Forty-three years went by and Outdoor Life, founded in 1898, was celebrating its 100th Anniversary. They decided to look through 100 years of magazines to select the best stories and illustrations for their 100th anniversary issue. Of all the bear illustrations done, they selected Mort Künstler’s illustration shown here. However, the magazine had a problem. After all those years, no one knew how to get in touch with Künstler. At this time, January 1998, the Nassau County Museum of Art in New York was hosting a one-man exhibition of Künstler’s paintings. Hanging across the main road in front of the museum was a large banner announcing the exhibit. By coincidence, Bob Brown, Managing Editor of Outdoor Life drove by and noticed the banner and called the museum. This March 1998 magazine cover was the result.

The original painting was part of the traveling exhibit Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure curated by the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Mort painted a blue shirt on the man (better contrast for the blood), but when he saw the painting reproduced in the magazine the man was wearing a red shirt! Years later we looked at the painting and noticed someone at the magazine had painted a red shirt and pasted it on top of the blue shirt! Mort peeled off the red shirt and it can now be seen as it was originally painted - blood and all!

The Era of Men’s Adventure
Beginning in the 1950s, Mort’s illustrations were sought after by art directors of the leading magazines. His captivating and sometimes provocative images were featured on the covers of Stag, For Men Only, True Adventures, Male and True Action magazines. Magazine Management, the publisher of these magazines, asked Mort to use pseudonyms because he was doing so much work for them. Two of the pseudonyms he used were Martin Kay and Emmett Kaye – a play on his initials “MK”. These illustrations have become emblematic of the pop culture of that era.

From Men’s Adventure Magazines in Postwar America
(Max Allan Collins and George Hagenauer, Taschen GMBH, 2004, p. 500)

“Künstler was at the top of the game in the genre, putting incredible detail and accurate descriptions of uniforms, weapons, and settings into his paintings, even when illustrating the likes of “The G.I. Who Raided Saigon Sally’s Sin Barracks.”

“His art has appeared in major magazines, such as National Geographic, The Saturday Evening Post, and Newsweek, and his commercial oeuvre also includes film posters and advertising work. He is now considered to be one of the premiere fine artists in the U.S painting historical objects.”

The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts opened a major retrospective exhibit of Künstler’s art in November 2014, including many of his original movie poster art. Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure, had over 80 pieces from early childhood through his most recent works. This traveling exhibit went to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia, the Citadelle Art Foundation in Canadian, Texas, and the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, New York.

Buy the book: Mort Künstler: “The Godfather” of Pulp Fiction

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