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Paul Peter Piech (1920-1996)

Paul Peter Piech (1920 – 1996)
Artist and printer, Paul Peter Piech was born in New York and studied at the Cooper Union College of Art. He worked as a graphic artist before the war, painted “images of glamorous blondes on to the front of the aircraft – to match the planes’ affectionate female nicknames”, during the Second World War, and settled in Wales following his marriage to a Welsh nurse.

Following a further stint at an advertising agency, Piech set up the Taurus Press. This enabled him to publish the politically motivated imagery, with his large linocut lettering, that defined his style and got him noticed.

The Independent Newspaper wrote in his obituary:

He printed his linocut images alongside the wise words of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King or the crass boasts of Richard Nixon. In 1979 the American Embassy protested at Piech’s treatment of the United States flag. He had turned it sideways to illustrate it as prison bars above the caption “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty”. When, however, he produced a poster of Nixon with the word “Dicktator” inscribed above his head, it was purchased by the Library of Congress.

Piech had a love of Jazz and the characters from the scene were also treated to the large, hand-cut lettering and bold messages. He worked as freelance graphic artist and taught at colleges in London and the Midlands. He died in Porthcawl, Mid- Glamorgan in 1996.

Well worth a read of the full obituary on the Independent website.