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Abstract Cityby Christoph Niemann
Synopses & Reviews
In July 2008, illustrator and designer Christoph Niemann began Abstract City, a visual blog for the New York Times. His posts were inspired by the desire to re-create simple and everyday observations and stories from his own life that everyone could relate to. In Niemann’s hands, mundane experiences such as riding the subway or trying to get a good night’s sleep were transformed into delightful flights of visual fancy. The struggle to keep up with housework became a battle against adorable but crafty goblins, and nostalgia about New York manifested in simple but strikingly spot-on LEGO creations. This brilliantly illustrated collection of reflections on modern life includes all 16 of the original blog posts as well as a new chapter created exclusively for the book.
Praise for Abstract City:
“Everyday experiences—from looking at leaves to riding city subways—are funny and fresh and often a source of wonder when depicted by this brilliant graphic designer.” —Readers Digest
“I will call Christoph when anything awful happens to me. And he will make me laugh like crazy about the whole thing. Because he is insanely funny and completely tenderly true. I love every column he did and will do.” —Maira Kalman, author/illustrator of And the Pursuit of Happiness
“Christoph Niemann is the best illustrator alive. Every single time I come across a piece of his work, which is often as he either works all the time, or worse, draws incredibly fast, it is wonderful. While the rest of us are lucky to get a proper piece out here and there, Christoph produces hit after hit after hit. If he wasn’t such a genuinely sweet man, we’d surely hate his ass a lot.” —Stefan Sagmeister, author of Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far
“Few books have more probingly and humorously gotten inside the mind and day-to-day experience of an artist.” —NPR.org
"What’s terrifying (to me, certainly, and possibly to many of his peers) is that nearly every idea he has seems to be equally well formed . . . once again, performing neat, virtuosic circles around the rest of us, to our delight." —PRINT magazine
"Irresistible." —Very Short List
“A masterpiece of sophisticated humor, this is a brilliant one-of-a-kind work.” —Library Journal, starred review
"If OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) were an art form, Niemann would be Michelangelo. He does best concocting a graph to illustrate his fluctuating coffee cravings; a pie-chart to isolate the components of that slippery beast, the Really Great Idea; or even a photomontage designed to underscore the difficulties of combating lint. His undeniable graphic prowess becomes diluted when he focuses on the Berlin Wall over 10 pages, as well-meaning as his intentions may be. 'She was the wall's first official victim,' writes Niemann, about Ida Siekmann. 'And here I was, pitying myself because I had slept only a few hours and couldn't get my DSL connection up and running.' Indeed. There's nothing really abstract about Abstract City, a compilation retracing Niemann's often self-aggrandizing New York Times blog, but he does have an uncanny knack for encapsulating those anecdotal-yet-unavoidable moments that constitute the background chatter of a New Yorker's existence, like shopping at Fairway. He does almost equally well describing the more serious vagaries of metropolitan life, such as the subway system and the weather. Most satisfying is the section Niemann devotes to 'unpopular science,' in which his linear art and his fastidious, analytical wit mesh perfectly, distilling some wicked good humor." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Liu Bolin first became invisible in 2006. When the artist village in Beijing where he worked as a sculpandshy;torandrsquo;s assistant was demolished, he decided to protest. He camouflaged himself in the ruins with acrylic paints and photographed the finished product, marking the first of his Hiding in the City series. Since then, he has andldquo;disapandshy;pearedandrdquo; in many different places around the worldandmdash;from politically fraught areas in China to grocery stores, toy stores, and more. His work protests specific political acts of the Chinese government and offers commentary on consumer culture.
This comprehensive book showcases Bolinandrsquo;s most striking photographs and sculptures and explores the techniques he uses to create his unforgettable art. Bolin has also helped other people disappear, including the members of Bon Jovi for the bandandrsquo;s recent album cover, as well as the fashion designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Missoni, Valentino, and more, and a selection of these photographs is featured throughout the book.
In July 2008, illustrator and designer Christoph Niemann began Abstract City, a visual blog for the New York Times. His posts were inspired by the desire to re-create simple and everyday observations and stories from his own life that everyone could relate to. In Niemanns hands, mundane experiences such as riding the subway or trying to get a good nights sleep were transformed into delightful flights of visual fancy. The struggle to keep up with housework became a battle against adorable but crafty goblins, and nostalgia about New York manifested in simple but strikingly spot-on LEGO creations. This brilliantly illustrated collection of reflections on modern life includes all 16 of the original blog posts as well as a new chapter created exclusively for the book.
About the Author
Christoph Niemann is an award-winning illustrator, designer, and childrens book author. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, Wired, and the New York Times. He lives in Berlin, Germany.
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