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.