Jim Riswold

Artist, Writer

Jim Riswold was the former creative director for Portland, Oregon based advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy and an instructor for the agency's experimental advertising school, WK12. In 2000, Jim was diagnosed with leukemia and in 2005 he retired from agency life and become an artist. He debuted his art career with a photography exhibit featuring Hitler. As you can imagine, it was uncomfortable and the reviews were mixed. So, Jim sat down and wrote an article for Esquire magazine titled "Hitler Saved My Life” and then a book, "Hitler Saved My Life” and continues to show his work — most recently in galleries throughout the Northwest and is in permanent collections of several museums including the Portland Art Museum, the Hallie Ford Museum and the Schnitzer Collection. Most of his work pokes fun at historically taboo figures by constructing monumental settings in which the figurines of infamous leaders are photographed. Riswold explains that "Instead of providing … grand expositions mythologizing the dictator, toys, by definition, make their subjects seem small, childish, and trifling.”