Ed Paschke (June 22, 1939 - November 25, 2004) was an American painter whose strikingly colorful works exemplify the underside of American values, such as fame, violence, sex, and money. Paschke’s work additionally explores the archetypes and cliches of media identity, appropriating images of iconic figures—both real and fictional—such as Marilyn Monroe, George Washington, Mona Lisa, Michael Jordan, or Venus de Milo to confront social and cultural values.
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1939, Paschke received both his BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Drafted into the United States Army in 1962, Paschke was sent to Fort Polk, Virginia to work in the Training Aids Department, where he created illustrations for publications, signs, targets, and manuals to explain weapons and procedures to incoming troops. It was through this experience that Paschke became an illustrator for Playboy magazine, specializing in colorful, sexually suggestive images that echoed his own artistic practice. In 1976 Pachke began to work as a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He continued to live and work in Chicago until his death in 2004.