Meet Martin Rosenthal, the creator of these paintings. The name Em & Ahr comes from the phonetic sound of Martins initials- M.R.
Martin Rosenthal has been creating art since his youth, but began formally developing his talents at the Pratt Institute in NYC. After serving in the Vietnam War, Marty roamed the world before ultimately returning home to New York City, where he designed & released a line of unique products that ranged from t-shirts, to art, to bags, to jewelry. Upon his return, Marty also ventured into the seltzer business and became widely known as “Marty The Seltzer Man”.
The story of "Em & Ahr" begins long long ago before there was any “Em & Ahr” or vision of it. It begins somewhere between 1975-1983 when Martin Rosenthal was “Marty the Seltzer Man”. A humble New Yorker that delivered carbonated H2O in Seltzer bottles to residents in New York which is where the first t-shirt design was created. Here is one of the designs…
Fast forward two decades to 1991 where Mr. Rosenthal brought his talents to the streets of New York City as a street vendor. SoHo In Manhattan is where Mr. Rosenthal sold his merchandise, many of whom he created and designed himself.
It was only till 2008, where the idea of “Em & Ahr” was formed. When Mr. Rosenthal read the book, “Giovanni’s room” by James Baldwin, he was so inspired by the writer that he made a shirt of Baldwin when in the Philippines(where he was currently making his polyester tote bags). After having received great feedback and response on the shirt, the idea of “Em & Ahr” was established.
All the while, Mr. Rosenthal has been exercising his many backgrounds in art and design by creating everything from bags, to jewelry, to hats, to shirts. And throughout the past decade, Mr. Rosenthal has accumulated a collection of unique shirt designs from his inspirations and imaginations.
Often being under-looked but not under appreciated, Mr. Rosenthal’s artwork has caught the eyes of the special few who passed his table in SoHo, including those of familiar names. They include Michael Cera but are not limited to others such as Forest Whitaker whom loved the beanies, as well as Catherine Deneuve, Tim Robbins, Karl Lagerfeld, Susan Sarandon, Lauren Bacall, Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Yara Shahidi, Michael Cera, & Adam Levine. All buying different things but all recognizing the singularity in each.
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If you're in the NYC area, visit Marty for a tee or a conversation. Marty's across the street from the Apple Store (103 Prince st) in SoHo Manhattan.