August 27, 2004 Artist Hanoch Piven to Speak at the Library of Congress

Press Contact: Bibi Martí (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Martha Kennedy (202) 707-9115
Contact: Request ADA accommodations at (202) 707-6362

Artist and illustrator Hanoch Piven will give an illustrated public talk, “What Presidents Are Made Of: The 3-Dimensional World of Piven,” at 2-3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2, in the sixth Floor Mumford Room of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, D.C. The program, co-sponsored by the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division and the Embassy of Israel, is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. A book-signing will follow the program.

In his talk, Mr. Piven will show images of his work, discuss his creative process and career, and comment on his latest children’s book, “What Presidents Are Made Of” (Simon and Schuster Children’s, 2004). Digital prints and an original work of art from the book, recently donated to the Library of Congress, will be displayed at the event.

Piven is a versatile artist and creator of imaginative children’s books. Over the last decade his award-winning editorial illustrations have also appeared in major American publications including Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times and others. His work has received numerous awards for excellence from many American design and illustration organizations, most notably a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York in 1994 and a silver medal from the Society of Publication Designers.

Born in Uruguay and raised in Israel, Piven studied graphic design and illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. From 1996 to 2001 he lived in Israel, where he wrote and illustrated a monthly editorial column in the weekend magazine for Haaretz, one of Israel’s most respected newspapers. Piven currently divides his time among Barcelona, New York and Tel Aviv.

His first book, “Faces by Hanoch Piven: 78 Portraits from Madonna to the Pope” (Pomegranate, 2002), features humorous and incisive portrayals of public figures such as Barbara Streisand, Jesse Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Sigmund Freud and other prominent politicians, performers and celebrities. “The Perfect Purple Feather” (Time Warner/Little Brown, 2002), his first children’s book, takes the reader on a young boy’s pursuit of a purple feather through a realm of fanciful animals. Piven’s latest book contains lively, vivid caricatures of U.S. Presidents that reflect the artist’s research and a thoughtful, international take on familiar American subjects.

Piven often paints his graphically powerful compositions in vivid colors on a plaster surface layer then attaches a variety of objects to compose the imaginative portrait. Some use perishable items (e.g., bananas, smoked fish); some cleverly employ found objects (e.g., birthday cake candles, metal links, buttons, toys) for facial and other features.

For more information about this program, contact Martha H. Kennedy at (202) 707-9115, Cheryl McCullers at 707-1865, email, or visit the Swann home page at


PR 04-161
ISSN 0731-3527