Kurt's Reviews > Abstract City

Abstract City by Christoph Niemann
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Apr 06, 13

bookshelves: art, essays, humor, npr, surreal, read-on-nook
Read from September 29 to October 19, 2012

We all take in life as we live, it's how we let it out again that shows who we are. For Christoph Niemann, his life comes out through his graphic design influenced art work. Much of the unique work that appears in his book ABSTRACT CITY originally appeared as part of his visual blog for the New York Times. Working like visual essays accompanied by modest text, each is a treat presenting relatable moments from everyday life in formats that recall catalogs or training manuals. Often silly but always creative, Niemann's art utilizes disparate art forms to convey his ideas the elements of which usually relate specifically to what he is talking about. For example, relating his personal history with coffee through a series of drawings on coffee stained napkins or lamenting how electrical cords complicate our lives through art using actual wires. Since much of my childhood involved creating my own world while playing with Legos, I particularly appreciated Niemann's using the multi colored plastic blocks to represent what it's like to life in New York, entitled--I LEGO NY. It's tempting to breeze through the book but I found myself dipping back into previous essays. As I experienced each new art format, I appreciated the ones before even more.
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