March 19, 2021
In January 2020, beloved Stamps alum Jason Polan (BFA ‘05) died of cancer at age 37. Polan was known for his “unpretentious, under-finished–appearing drawing style” that most famously culminated into his first book, Every Person in New York. His lasting impact on the New York City art scene can be seen through his sketches, his t-shirt line with Uniqlo, and his work with MoMA, just to name a few. Former New York Times art director Steven Heller wrote: “He was very sensitive to the human drama unfolding all around him. In the most simple, economic way, he would record what he saw, and there is a joyfulness in what he made. The act of looking would take over the act of drawing, so his line can be kind of jumpy and disjointed, and this became his signature style. These were real life moments, things that go unnoticed by many—it could be a very tender moment of a dad with his son, or someone sleeping on a subway, or someone eating in a diner.”
One of the commemorative stamps proposed in Polan’s honor.