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Christopher Niemann is an illustrator and designer who began Abstract City, a visual blog for the New York Times, in July 2008. He has just published a book, Abstract City, containing original posts and new exclusively created material.

Niemann’s design and illustration work has appeared on the covers of such publications as The New Yorker, Newsweek, Wired and American Illustration. He has won several awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Art Directors Club and American Illustration. After living in New York for 11 years he has moved to Berlin with his wife and their three sons.

Abstract City follows other books published by the artist. Niemann has also penned “The Pet Dragon”, which teaches Chinese characters to young readers, “I LEGO N.Y.” and, more recently, “SUBWAY”, a book based on “The Boys and the Subway,” the first ever entry of the original Abstract City blog. Abstract City is now archived on Abstract Sunday, part of the New York Times website.

Abstract City, published by Abrams, is a collection of sixteen of Niemann’s visual essays, “infused with his signature blend of humor, thoughtfulness, and exquisite conceptual freshness.” (via brainpickings.com). His posts were derived from daily experiences, with a drive and desire to depict for his audience simple observations and real-life stories. Everyday subjects such as a love of coffee, dealing with housework, trying to get a good night’s sleep are brought to life with humor and imagination. A lego becomes tuna sushi, a leaf becomes acid washed jeans; through sketches, photos and models his humor and creative visions are brought to life, giving an insight to life in New York City.

Brainpickings describes the book as “Entertaining and enlightening” and that it is “an exquisite feat of visual storytelling, at once endlessly refreshing and endlessly familiar in the universality of the human condition”. His graph chart with felt tip pen depicts that “Getting a good night’s sleep is actually a lot more complicated than one would think.” whilst a chalk sketch depicts the units of pascals, coloumbs and decibels as women.

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The author includes an extra chapter on his creative process, a theme he spoke about in his Creative Mornings talk recently.

Abstract City is a 256 hardback book and retails at around $25.00
Christopher Niemann is on Twitter @abstractsunday.

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