Art & Design 25·02·2019
Mediterranean watercolour paintings by Christoph Niemann lifestyle
The German artist portrays the Mediterranean lifestyle through everyday scenes in the ‘Mediterranean Sketchbook’. By using blue with white, the artist travels through the streets of Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Marseilles in order to convey that calm sea which is part of their citizens’ everyday life.
Christoph Niemann (born in 1970, in Waiblingen, in Germany), makes use of his paint brush by drawing invisible stories far from what our eyes can only imagine. With him, inanimate objects take on a life of their own through paintings and pencil sketches. For instance: a fork, a comb, headphones or a show take on a different meaning. They are a part of his imagination, which gives movement to the static objects with simple lines or overlapping pieces. This is what happens in his Sunday sketches, where a highlighter turns into a lightsabre and the creased pages in a notebook become flowers in still life.
Anthropological watercolour paintings
His edgy lively lines focus on those unnamed characters who are part of human geography. This role of observer and narrator is played in the ‘Mediterranean Sketchbook’, a set of drawings where Mediterranean life is reproduced in white and blue. Niemann walks through the streets of Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca or Marseilles focusing on their citizens’ everyday actions. In this anthropological essay written in watercolours, small details gain special importance, since it is in them where the authenticity of the characters and their everyday habits are portrayed. A clear example of this is the ritual of the midday nap, horse rides or the gardens which spring up from the concrete itself.
The conception about the world by Niemann makes some actions such as reading the newspaper, opening the fridge or having an infusion become special. Scenes which are a part of Abstract Sunday, the personal blog which the designer started in 2008 in The New York Times digital edition. An open window where the designer largely shows each of the particles of his universe, which has been portrayed on the front pages of: the New Yorker, Time, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration. Born to be a draughtsman, his sketches have won different awards, such as: the AIGA, the Art Directors Club and the Lead Awards. An abundant list of awards and recognitions which led him to becoming a member of the Hall of Fame of Art Directors Club in 2010.
His love of graphic language took him to draw live from the Art Biennial in Venice, the Olympic Games in London and the marathon in New York. Being aware of the new available technologies and resources , Niemann achieved in creating the first cover of augmented reality for The New Yorker, as well as a 360 degree animation for the US Open magazine. A lively design which turns unnamed voices into a group song.
Apps for children -Petting Zoo and Chomp, three monographs, a collaborative book and an episode in the ‘Abstract’ series of Netflix, complete his creative landmarks.