The art of Joel Iskowitz can pop up in the strangest places. For example, the latest 2017 issue of Analog, a pulpy science fiction magazine, features a drawing by Iskowitz – the work illustrates a bizarre tale of time travelers who trade genetic materials 40,000 years in the past.
While getting one’s art featured in an obscure publication is nice, it doesn’t create that wide exposure artists crave — something that’s never been a problem for Mr. Iskowitz. In fact, millions of people see his work every day, even if they don’t realize it.
That’s because Iskowitz is among the most prolific designers of money – specially, coinage issued by the U.S. Mint. Also, he is among a tiny group of living artists whose work can be seen at the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Pentagon in addition to dozens of legal tender coins.
Working for the Mint has been a kind of second life for Iskowitz. He was chosen for the U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program in 2005. The program had been established in 2003 to bring more vibrant and innovative talent to U.S. Mint products. Joe’s designs have been have been accepted for an astonishing 50 U.S. coins.
To say that Iskowitz is among the prolific coinage designers of all time would be a vast understatement, and his work doesn’t stop at the U.S border. Iskowitz has created artwork for private medals and stamps in 40 countries. These works number more than 2,000.
Additionally, Iskowitz has long had a keen interest in space travel. That’s why a lot of his works finds its way into science fiction magazines, but also the real world of rockets and astronauts. For example, Iskowitz was commissioned to produce work for NASA’s Space Shuttle missions. Much of this work on the former Shuttle program is still on display at the Kennedy Space Center Museum.
Today, at age 71, the artwork of Joel Iskowitz remains in high demand.