Monza, Louis

Self-taught painter, sculptor and printmaker Louis Monza was born in Turate, Italy, in 1897. At the age of seven, he was apprenticed to a master furniture maker. In 1913 he immigrated to the US, where he held a variety of odd jobs including restaurant dishwasher and water boy for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Although a lifelong pacifist, Monza joined the army in 1917 and served in Panama during World War I to speed up his citizenship process.

Following the war, he worked as a house painter until 1937, when he was injured in a fall. During his lengthy convalescence he began making art and continued to do so for the rest of his life. In 1946 Monza moved to California, where he created prints and sculpture as well as drawings and paintings, all of which carried on a monologue of social and political commentary on topics ranging from technology and the aerospace industry to the effects of environmental pollution.

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