ON THE TUBE

ABSTRACT: THE ART OF DESIGN

Illustrator Christoph Niemann is featured in the premier episode of ABSTRACT, a new documentary series from Netflix.

Illustrator Christoph Niemann is featured in the premier episode of ABSTRACT, a new documentary series from Netflix.

Netflix has a new documentary series about design and it's terrific. Season one of Abstract: The Art of Design has eight episodes. I blush to admit it, but the only designer whose name I recognized is featured in the first episode. Christoph Niemann's New Yorker covers may be familiar to you, or you may have encountered his humorous Instagram. This first episode of Abstract manages to convey the smart, jack rabbit quick u-turns of thought that make up a Niemann illustration. Mr. Niemann speaks throughout the episode about creative anxiety in a way I recognized and related to entirely. I can't wait to "meet" the rest of Abstract's designers, through the series; I somehow feel I'll have visited the inside of their heads through this very clever and delightful show. 

I saw one article that pedantically objected to the name of the series, insisting designers don't abstract; the writer claimed that only artists like Jackson Pollack abstract. I object; of course designers abstract too. Ask Nike head designer Tinker Hatfield (episode 2 of Abstract)  about those backward "flames" he added to the Air Jordan 5