Piven, Hanoch 1963-

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Piven, Hanoch 1963-


Born 1963, in Uruguay; immigrated to Israel, c. 1974; married; wife's name Janet; children: Jakub, Ana. Edu-cation: Attended Hebrew University; School of Visual Arts, degree, 1992. Religion: Jewish.


Home—Barcelona, Spain. Agent—Heflinreps, 455 W. 23rd St., No. 8D, New York, NY 10011. E-mail—[email protected].


Artist, editorial caricaturist, and illustrator of children's books. Lecturer and presenter of creative workshops. Developer of animated television series, for Hop Channel. Exhibitions: Works are included in the permanent collection of the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Military service: Served in Israeli Army.

Awards, Honors

Gold Medal, Society of Illustrators, 1994; Silver Medal, Society of Publication Designers; Parents' Choice Foundation Recommended designation, 2004, for What Presidents Are Made Of.



The Perfect Purple Feather (originally published in Hebrew), translated by Rachel Tzvia Back, Little, Brown(Boston, MA), 2002.

What Presidents Are Made Of, Atheneum Books for YoungReaders (New York, NY), 2004.

What Athletes Are Made Of, text by Sarah L. Thomson, Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, NY), 2006.


Faces by Hanoch Piven: 76 Portraits from Madonna to the Pope, introduction by Steve Brodner, Pomegranate(San Francisco, CA), 2002.

Piven in America (bilingual Hebrew/English text), Am Oved (Tel Aviv, Israel), 2002.

Also author of books published in Israel. Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Washington Post, New York Times, News-week, Time, London Times, and Switzerland's Die Welt-Woche, as well as a monthly column published in Israel's Haaretz.


The Piven Zoo, an interactive exhibition based on Piven's work.


Born in Uruguay, collage artist and caricaturist Hanoch Piven has gained a familiarity with celebrities of international stature as a result of his world travels. Raised in Israel, he attended Hebrew University for several years, then moved to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts. Now making his home in Spain with his wife and children, Piven has become noted for political caricatures that appear in a number of high-profile periodicals, as well as several children's books that illustrate his playful take on life. Praising his first self-illustrated picture book, The Perfect Purple Feather, Lynda Ritterman called the story—about a fluffy feather pulled from a young boy's pillow and the way different animals would put it to use—a "perfect blend of sight and sound [that] is certain to tickle the funny bone" of the storyhour set. Piven's photo-collage illustrations, which feature such creatures as an elephant, tick, ant, cat, tiger, owl, porcupine, and puppydog, were praised as "playful" by a Kirkus Reviews writer, and are composed of found objects ranging from fish forks to a hair comb. To extend the story, Piven includes an actual purple feather in each book, allowing youngsters "to follow their [own] feather on a journey that is bound to tickle their curiosity," according to the Kirkus Reviews writer.

In What Presidents Are Made Of Piven focuses on the pantheon of U.S. leaders, from George Washington onward through Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and George W. Bush. In the book, published just before the 2004 elections, he depicts sixteen portraits composed of found objects that reflect the life of the political figure being depicted. For the Civil War-era's President Lincoln, for example, Piven presents a rustic image reflecting Lincoln's hardscrabble roots and incorporates a length of broken chain reflecting the abolition of slavery that marked Lincoln's war-torn administration. In similar fashion, the portrait of President Jimmy Carter features peanut hulls and building tools, reflecting the Georgia-born president's other roles as peanut farmer and support of Habitat for Humanity. Noting that "children will be fascinated by the imaginative, humorous artwork" as well as by the stories and quotes Piven includes to illustrate each president's personality, Ritterman added in her School Library Journal review that What Presidents Are Made Of "exhibits Piven's flair for creativity and whimsy."

A similar work featuring twenty-three more example's of Piven's whimsical collage art, What Athletes Are Made Of was published to coincide with the World Cup Soccer tournament hosted by Germany in 2006. The book includes images of golfer Tiger Woods, soccer star David Beckham, runner Jesse Owens, tennis player Martina Navratilova, and Tour du France-winning cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Noting the artist's skill at creating "caricatures formed of realia," Gay Lynn Van Vleck called Piven's The Scary Show of Mo and Jo a "treat" in her School Library Journal review of the 2005 picture book. Featuring oreo eyes, gummy-worm mouths, and licorice-stick hair, Mo and Jo are siblings who alternately attempt to upstage the other's costume. Transforming themselves into witches, wizards, and the like, Mo and Jo soon fall under their own magic spell, and ultimately scare themselves silly with the help of baby brother Nathan. In Publishers Weekly a critic deemed The Scary Show of Mo and Jo "the perfect showcase for [Piven's] … offbeat, ingenuous artistry." Predicting that the book will inspire readers' own creativity, the reviewer also praised the author/artist's rhythmic text, which "doubles as recipes for assembling the characters" brought to life by the two siblings. A cat with pizza-slice ears and a lion with a mane of flower petals are two of the collage creatures included among Piven's five rhyming "recipes."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, August, 2004, Kay Weisman, review of What Presidents Are Made Of, p. 1929; July 1, 2006, Randall Enos, review of What Athletes Are Made Of, p. 62.

Five Owls(annual), 2003, review of The Perfect Purple Feather, p. 42.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of The Perfect Purple Feather, p. 1232; June 15, 2004, review of What Presidents Are Made Of, p. 579; May 1, 2006, review of What Athletes Are Made Of, p. 465.

Print, January-February, 1998, Paul Elie, "Object Lesson," p. 54.

Publishers Weekly, July 29, 2002, review of The Perfect Purple Feather, p. 70; August 2, 2004, review of What Presidents Are Made Of, p. 70; October 3, 2005, review of The Scary Show of Mo and Jo, p. 69.

School Library Journal, November, 2002, Lynda Ritterman, review of The Perfect Purple Feather, p. 134; August, 2004, Lynda Ritterman, review of What Presidents Are Made Of, p. 112; November, 2005, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, review of The Scary Show of Mo and Jo, p. 103; August, 2006, Kate Kohlbeck, review of What Athletes Are Made Of, p. 110.


Art Works Inc. Web site,www.theartworksinc.com/ (October 27, 2006), "Hanoch Piven."

Hanoch Piven Home Page,www.pivenworld.com (October 27, 2006).