Beloved pop artist James Rizzi, author of unusual projects worldwide, dies at 61

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NEW YORK (AP).- James Rizzi applied his playful, cartoon-like art style to unusual projects worldwide, from Volkswagen Beetles and Japanese train ads to cow sculptures in New York and the front page of a German newspaper. His creations included images for German postage stamps and a tourist guide to New York published this year. He was the official artist for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and soccer World Cup games in France. “With his art, what you see is what you get,” said Alexander Lieventhal, an executive at Art 28 GmbH & Co. in Stuttgart, Germany, which manages and sells Rizzi’s work. “Any child can look at it and understand what he’s trying to convey: a celebration of life.” Rizzi, a native of Brooklyn, died Monday at his New York studio at age 61. He had a heart condition, Lieventhal said. Rizzi studied art at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where his groundbreaking techniques began with three-dimensional constr