Thomas Paul Muhl’s own history is as colorful and amazing as his artwork.
Painter, writer and designer, Muhl was born in Budapest, Hungary. He made his debut as an artist in high school by drawing uncomplimentary caricatures of his teachers during class. Fortunately for him, his art teacher intervened and saved him from expulsion.
During World War II, he and his mother were confined to the Budapest Ghetto, where he witnessed the atrocities committed by the Hungarian Nazis. Miraculously, his family survived the war.
As a young adult, he found employment in an art studio run by the Hungarian army where he painted billboard-size portraits of political heroes of Bolshevik history. The political climate was changing and Muhl soon realized that he could not abide by the rules of the regime.
Following the 1956 revolution, he and his family made a dramatic escape across the Hungarian border into Austria. From there he immigrated to England and then to the United States where he worked as an award-winning creative director for prominent advertising agencies and created film scripts for documentaries and television.
The events of his life and harrowing escape are all documented in his acclaimed book, Retouching Stalin’s Moustache. He describes his life as an artist, as a survivor of 20th Century Europe under both fascism and communism, and then one who copes with survival in America in a life complicated by further twists and turns of fate.
Living in South Florida since 1974, Muhl has dedicated his art to depicting the beauty and richness of the tropical environment.
The artwork of Thomas Muhl will be on exhibit at the Alper JCC Futernick Family Gallery, 11155 SW 112 Ave. The opening reception on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 1 to 4 p.m., is free and open to the community. Muhl’s painting will be on exhibit and his book for sale during the reception. Call 305- 271-9000, ext. 265, for other gallery times.