Robb Ortel is an American artist and television personality. He is best known for his work as the in-house airbrush artist on the popular Discovery Channel reality series “American Chopper.” His unapologetic candor and in-your-face personality often steal the show.
Born in New York City to artist and retired FDNY firefighter Peter Ortel and artist Madelyn Ortel, Robb started drawing as soon as he was able to pick up a pencil. He attended a Votech school majoring in Advertising Design where he learned to airbrush. By 16, Ortel started his first business, custom painting denim and leather jackets.
Ortel attended Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City where he continued his clothing business.
After FIT, he spent the first 15 years of his professional career working along side his father, who had built a reputation as one of the finest gold leaf artists in North America. As the father-and-son business grew, so did their reputation. Robb quickly expanded his work to motorcycles, cars and trucks.
2005 was the grand opening of Robb Ortel’s Hot Air Graphixx –a small custom paint shop in Middletown, NY– where his skills as an artist grew and his artwork earned numerous national awards. Robb started to attract celebrity clientele from all over the country.
In July 2008 Ortel joined forces with Paul Teutul Sr. and Orange County Choppers. His airbrushed artwork can be seen on hundreds of motorcycles on the reality TV show American Choppers. He was featured in 2011, when he designed a futuristic styled motorcycle for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
In 2012, Robb branched out and founded Robb Ortel Studios and launched Rotten Icon – a successful zombie-themed clothing line fusing Ortel’s two favorite styles: sexy and creepy. The clothing line features his creation of pin-up portraits of sexy women of the un-dead world along with caricatures of iconic celebrities in “Zombie-form”.