The witty works of Hanoch Piven

~ 23 October 2006 ~

About halfway through the October 23 issue of Time Magazine I stumbled on the following illustration and was floored by its witty simplicity:

Kim Jong Il illustration

Is there a more fitting visualization of Kim Jong Il than this? The missles as eyes, the lock as a mouth, the mushroom in hand.

A little googling led me to the website of Hanoch Piven. It’s apparent Piven is readily familiar with a variety of cultures, as the Artworks Illustration Agency explains: “Born in Uruguay, resident during his teen years in Israel and art educated at the School of Visual Art in New York, Piven now resides in Barcelona with his wife and young family” (full article).

Turns out Piven specializes in caricatures similar to that of Kim Jong Il’s using a blend of paint and physical objects to portray famous persons. His portraits literally need no further explanation; they stand on their own as inanimate representations of animate people.

A few other works for your guessing pleasure:

Piven illustration
Piven illustration
Piven illustration
Piven illustration


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1   Drew ~ 23 October 2006 at 07:48 AM

These are fantastic. I’ve never heard of the artist before; thanks for sharing. Love Nicholson’s hair.

2   Jason Beaird ~ 23 October 2006 at 07:50 AM

Steven Spielberg, Jack Nicholson, ?, and Jerry Garcia. I’m not sure who the third one is but these are great. Do all of his portraits have glasses? I guess I could check out his site and see. :)

3   Martin Ringlein ~ 23 October 2006 at 07:53 AM

This is great! I was just looking for something to jump-start my creativity this Monday morning!!!

4   Brandon ~ 23 October 2006 at 07:56 AM

That’s awesome man - thanks for the much needed Monday morning laugh.

5   Brandon ~ 23 October 2006 at 07:58 AM

Jason - Alan Greenspan maybe?

6   Cameron Moll ~ 23 October 2006 at 07:59 AM

Close. Warr…

7   Jason Beaird ~ 23 October 2006 at 08:07 AM

I already cheated and found the answer but know very little about the person. Alan Greenspan is a guess I would have made, but didn’t think of him either. Another hint for people who haven’t cheated yet: he’s the 2nd richest man in the world.

8   Brandon ~ 23 October 2006 at 08:13 AM

Ahh bullocks. Well in all fairness, I pulled up both of their pictures and it still looks more like Alan to me :P

9   Danny ~ 23 October 2006 at 08:35 AM

Number three is Warren Buffet, the famous stock broker!

10   Greg ~ 23 October 2006 at 09:39 AM

I’d love to see Steve Case made out of those damned FREE 3723 HOURS OF AOL COLOR HBO TV CDs.

11   Cameron Moll ~ 23 October 2006 at 09:47 AM

That would rock bigtime.

12   Jerrett ~ 23 October 2006 at 11:45 AM

That last one has to be George Lucas.

13   Cameron Moll ~ 23 October 2006 at 12:44 PM

Nope! The not-so-discreet item used for the beard might be a hint…

14   Hasan ~ 23 October 2006 at 01:40 PM

Jerry Garcia, as Jason B. said. Thanks for posting this, Cameron, some very cool portraits. The one of Haffez Al Assad has me wondering if he influenced the Pink Floyd The Wall movie or vice versa (the Schoolmaster).

15   Shane Guymon ~ 23 October 2006 at 03:28 PM

Thats awesome! Thanks for sharing…

16   stupidapp ~ 23 October 2006 at 05:34 PM

Piven is really great, he has a full-colro book out with portraits of Israeli politicians taken from Haaretz (an Israeli daily newspaper.)

Haaretz featured a different portrait each week and used it as the main ad-campaign which led to sales growth and very high visibility.


17   Birgit ~ 24 October 2006 at 01:44 AM

That Steven Spielberg guy is simply brilliant! The other ones, I’m not sure if I know them.


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