Turtel Onli is the Father of the Black Age of Comics and the creator of Rhythmism. His work is the icon for the current Chicago Comics 1960 Until Now exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art (thru 10/3/21). He’s a living example of “if it doesn’t exist, create it” as the founder of multiple movements and genres in art and life. Onli is an American artist, entrepreneur, author, art therapist, educator and publisher. Recently retired as a long-time educator at Chicago Public Schools, Onli says he’s now in “mega-production mode.”
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Turtel Onli is an American artist, entrepreneur, author, art therapist, educator, and publisher.
Over Onli’s career, his work has touched upon a variety of disciplines in fine and applied visual art, producing works in painting, drawing, illustration, publishing, fashion, and multimedia production. Onli has authored and illustrated numerous comic books and graphic novels, including NOG, Protector of the Pyramids, Malcolm 10, Nog Nu and Grammar Patrol. He is known as “the Father” of the “Black Age of Comics,” a movement dedicated to the promotion, creation, and support of Afrocentric comic books and graphic novels. Onli coined the term “Rhythmism” to define and interpret his stylizations, which fuse primitive and futuristic concepts. A public school art teacher, now retired, Onli worked in the Chicago Public Schools for more than two decades.