American artist James Rizzi has died, aged 61.
The pop artist passed away suddenly in his hometown of New York on Monday (26Dec11). His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
Rizzi became famous for his 3D paper sculptures and colourful animations, which have been applied to a wide range of objects including an airplane, chinaware, stamps, cars and trains.
A statement posted on his website reads, "It’s with great distress and sorrow that we have to announce the death of James Rizzi. The world famous pop artist died peacefully in his sleep in his studio in SoHo, New York, the night after Christmas. His sudden and unexpected death comes as a shock to family, friends, and collectors alike... He was in the middle of preparing for new projects when death struck him.
"In James Rizzi the art world loses one of the last great pop artists, and we lose a good friend and a wonderful human being."