Michael C. Gross
Michael C. Gross is an art director, editor, illustrator, photographer, film producer, director, museum curator, and painter. He was raised in Newburgh, N.Y., attended Newburgh Free Academy, and majored in fine art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. His career has taken him from New York to Los Angeles, London, Kenya, Mexico, Italy, and currently North San Diego County.
He was a senior designer for the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City and art directed such diverse publications as Esquire, EYE magazine, Family Health, NY Scenes, and National Lampoon.
It was in 1970 that Michael became Art Director at National Lampoon where he flourished throughout most of its glory days in the early ’70s. The very cool Mark’s Very Large National Lampoon Site says of Michael, “His first full issue was the November 1970 ‘Nostalgia’ issue and from the Norman Rockwell parody on the cover to the 1956 Ezra Taft Benson High School Yearbook parody (which was expanded upon later with the 1964 High School Yearbook Parody), the tone of the magazine was set for years to come. The editors soon discovered that Gross could faithfully imitate graphically anything they threw at him. Under his capable direction, sales of the magazine started to pick up for the first time. He is also credited with creation of the popular ‘Funny Pages’ section of the magazine.” No wonder that the New Times stated, “If Doug Kenney and Henry Beard are the parents of the National Lampoon, Michael Gross is the doctor that delivered the baby.”
After National Lampoon, Michael became a partner in the graphic design firm, Pellegrini Kaestle and Gross where his clients included Merrill Lynch, The Muppets, Simon and Schuster, Random House, Columbia Records, ABC television, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and The Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1980, he produced films and television. His feature film producing credits include Heavy Metal (art director and associate producer), Ghostbusters (assoc. prod.), Ghostbusters II, Twins, Beethoven, Beethoven’s Second, Legal Eagles, Kindergarten Cop, and Dave (all as producer or executive producer, as well as second unit director in many cases). His television credits as a producer include The Real Ghostbusters (ABC), Beethoven (CBS), and the prime time pilot, The First Gentleman (CBS). He also designed much of the advertising for those projects and designed the famous “no ghost” logo for Ghostbusters.
His awards range from a National Magazine Award from Columbia University to the People’s Choice Award. He has been nominated for four Emmys (SCTV, The Real Ghostbusters, and other animated specials). He has one Golden Globe nomination and over 125 design awards throughout the world for his art direction. One of his Mexican Olympics posters is in a collection at
the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NY as well as The Olympics Museum in Zurich. He has a politcal cartoon in The Smithsonian and a painting exhibited at The San Diego Museum of Natural History.
Read more about Michael C. Gross and see more of his art and design work on his web site.