Patrick Nagel was born November 25th, 1945 in Dayton, Ohio, but was raised and lived most of his life in Los Angeles. After a tour of duty in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division, Nagel attended the Chouinard Art Institute in LA and California State University, Fullerton, where he recieved his Master's in Fine Art in 1969.
A year later, Nagel worked with ABC designing promotional art and posters and started freelancing for different clients like Architechtual Digest, Harper's Magazine, IBM, ITT, MGM, Oui, United Artists and Universal Studios to name a few.
In 1976, Nagel started freelancing for Playboy and introduced what would become his signature work, the Nagel Woman.
His drawings of women were totally unique in that they were pared down to the simplest details, but Nagel worked three dimensionality out of what potentially could have been just plain flat images. The white skin, bold colors and provacative poses were striking and garnered immediate favorable reactions. Nagel's fame grew with commissons from the likes of Joanna Cassidy, Joan Collins, Brooke Shields, Cathy St. George and Shannon Tweed, and reached the peak when he was commissioned to make an cover for Duran Duran's 1982 album Rio.
Ironically, Nagel died of a heart attack three years later after participating in an Aerobathon for the American Heart Association. He was 38 years old.
Nagel's time in the spotlight was short, but his artwork influenced a generation of artists and the illustration/clip art of the1980's and beyond.