The automotive design art of Paul Deesen

Mac’s Motor City Garage proudly presents the artwork of GM designer Paul Deesen. 

 

 

We’ve said it before. One of the great privileges of working in the Motor City is the opportunity to hang out and rub elbows with one’s heroes. For instance: A few weeks ago, MCG was attending a meeting of the Leland Chapter of the Society of Automotive Historians, held this time at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

(Which reminds us: If you’re not a member of the Society of Automotive Historians, you really should be, and you can join here at the SAH website. You can also hook up with the Society’s Detroit-area Leland chapter here.)

Anyway, at the gathering MCG found himself sitting next to none other than Paul Deesen, a highly accomplished General Motors designer whose prolific career spanned 42 years from 1954 to 1996. Over the decades, Paul worked for a number of studios and divisions under the GM Styling umbrella, amassing an extensive list of design credits from the Pontiac Strato Star show car to the Chevy Blazer. And many more—you can read more about Paul’s work on the GM design staff at Dean’s Garage, the fine website that focuses on automotive design.

 

MCG had a fabulous time visiting with Paul at the meeting, gathering rare and priceless insights on the inner workings of GM Styling in the eras of Earl and Mitchell on through the 1990s. But the pleasure didn’t end there. A few days later, a package arrived in the mail with a gracious letter and a disc containing nearly 200 examples of Paul’s work. Wow.

A small portion of that digital portfolio is included in the gallery below. As the artwork demonstrates and fellow stylists have noted, Paul is both a skilled designer and artist. Hold on, one may ask: Aren’t they the same thing? No—many fine designers aren’t very adept at illustrating their own ideas. Paul is a master of both art and design. See how many GM designs and design elements and influences you can identify.

 

All images copyright Paul Deesen, all rights reserved. Used by permission. 

 

Paul Deesen 24
Paul Deesen 15
Paul Deesen 8
Paul Deesen 3
Paul Deesen 4
Paul Deesen 14
Paul Deesen 11
Paul Deesen 28
Paul Deesen 9
Paul Deesen 29
Paul Deesen 20
Paul Deesen 19
Paul Deesen 10
Paul Deesen 1
Paul Deesen 5
Paul Deesen 26
Paul Deesen 2
Paul Deesen 25
Paul Deesen 23
Paul Deesen 22
Paul Deesen 16
Paul Deesen 13
Paul Deesen 12
Paul Deesen 7
Paul Deesen 21
Paul Deesen 6
Paul Deesen 18
Paul Deesen 17
Paul Deesen 27

Paul Deesen 24

Paul Deesen 15

Paul Deesen 8

Paul Deesen 3

Paul Deesen 4

Paul Deesen 14

Paul Deesen 11

Paul Deesen 28

Paul Deesen 9

Paul Deesen 29

Paul Deesen 20

Paul Deesen 19

Paul Deesen 10

Paul Deesen 1

Paul Deesen 5

Paul Deesen 26

Paul Deesen 2

Paul Deesen 25

Paul Deesen 23

Paul Deesen 22

Paul Deesen 16

Paul Deesen 13

Paul Deesen 12

Paul Deesen 7

Paul Deesen 21

Paul Deesen 6

Paul Deesen 18

Paul Deesen 17

Paul Deesen 27

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