Born in Kielce, Poland in 1945, Rafal Olbinski studied architecture before dedicating himself to painting and design. He graduated from the Architectural Department of Warsaw Politechnical School.
In 1982 he immigrated to the US, where he soon established himself as a prominent painter, illustrator and designer. In 1985, he began teaching at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
For his artistic achievements, he has received more than 150 awards including Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, and The Big Crit 2000 award by Critique Magazine in San Francisco. In 1994 he was awarded the International Oscar for the World’s Most Memorable Poster, The Prix Savignac, in Paris.
The President of the Republic of Poland awarded Olbinski the highest award in the field of arts, the gold medal, “Gloria Artist”.
In the same year he received the Creative Review Award for the Best of British Illustration in London. In 1995 a jury led by Mayor Rudolf Giuliani chose his poster as the official New York City Capital of the World Poster.