PARIS -- Jean-Michel Folon, a Belgium-born artist whose works appeared in galleries, magazines, and subway stations around the world, died yesterday, the Guy Pieters gallery said. He was 71.
Mr. Folon died in a Monaco hospital after a long illness, said Lieven De Buck, director of the gallery in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in southeast France. He did not give the cause of death.
Admired for his versatility, Mr. Folon was a painter, sculptor, and cartoonist who decorated sets for operas, dabbled in animation, and produced short films. He also participated in poster campaigns for causes close to his heart, such as Amnesty International and UNICEF.
''The talent of Jean-Michel Folon was as large as his heart," President Jacques Chirac of France said in a statement.
Mr. Folon was a personal friend, ''an immense painter [and] an inspired poet who, for more than half a century, enlightened us with his colors and his generosity," Chirac said.
Born in Uccle, near Brussels, Mr. Folon went to Paris in 1955 to draw, after abandoning his studies in architecture. His first saw success, however, in the United States. Several magazines, including Esquire and the Atlantic Monthly, published his drawings, according to his website.
Mr. Folon's works also include large murals, one of which appears in a Brussels subway station. Another was shown at Waterloo Station in London.
For the past decade, Mr. Folon turned his focus to sculpture, De Buck said.
Mr. Folon leaves his wife and a son from his first marriage.