About Tom Zotos
In the 1980’s, Tom Zotos spearheaded an “interpretive art movement” related to pop culture and icons from the film, cartoon, and comic book industry.
The quiet revolution began by obtaining copyright and trademarks direct from the studios with permission to “freestyle” imagery from their respected archives.
In 1957 Roy Litchtenstein painted Mickey Mouse, a pivotal pressure point in pop culture, Zotos’ hunch, that an adult demographic was yearning for imagery from their respected lives was the impetus behind getting those rights and marketing to an overlooked segment of consumers.
In 1986, Zotos and licensing guru Joseph Angard secured a fine art license from the Walt Disney Company. They summoned artists from around the country, Richard Duardo, Peter Max, Alan Aldridge, Dick Duerrstein,and Andre Miripolsky, were interpreting “the Mouse“. The newly created program was named “The Art of Walt Disney“ where forty images were created. One breakthrough image entitled “Leo Da Mickey” drew the correlation between the genius of Walt Disney and DaVinci. Creating this image, Zotos anatomically changed the most protected trademark in history, by adding multiple legs and arms. He also put the actual blueprints of the Disneyland Magic Castle as a backdrop. This image was scrutinized by the Disney legal department for months, when cleared for publication the image became a financial hit at the theme parks and in galleries around the world. Thousands of images have been created, published, and art directed over the years for Warner Bros., DC Comics, LucasFilm, Paramount Pictures, and many others, under the tutelage of Tom Zotos.
"Leo DaMickey" Interpretive Art Movement
Enjoy the gallery of Images from the Zotos archive!
(Click on Images)
"Speechless" homage to Mel Blanc
$20 Million in sales - The Wall Street Journal
“Speechless” lithograph, designed, printed and marketed by Zanart Publishing Inc. two years after Mel Blanc passed. The Art was introduced to the public, exclusively through the Warner Bros. Studio Stores in 1991, to an unprecedented success. The Wall Street Journal reported sales of more than 20 million dollars, making it the biggest selling animation art in history. Tom Zotos was CEO and co - founder of Zanart, a publicly traded company.
Walt Disney in the Doorway
After close analysis there’s a shadow of his iconic creation “Mickey Mouse.” In 1986, almost 60 years after this photograph was snapped, Tom Zotos was looking for a definitive early photograph of the entrepreneur to highlight a collection of images to flagship his “The Art Of Walt Disney” art collection. After months of research, Zotos and Dave Smith, the Disney archivist, discovered a proof sheet depicting a session with a cardboard cut-out of Mickey projected from a light bulb strategically placed on the floor. The outtakes reveal that it was a self portrait overlooked for 58 years. Lilian Disney and Diane Miller, Walt’s wife and daughter, gave their blessing for the image to be merchandised, and thousands of art prints were sold.
Twenty eight year old Walt Disney in the doorway of his new office on Hyperion Blvd. Los Angeles, CA., c.1928.