What is The New Yorker? I know it’s a great magazine and that it’s a tremendous source of pleasure in my life. But what exactly is it? This blog’s premise is that The New Yorker is a work of art, as worthy of comment and analysis as, say, Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” Each week I review one or more aspects of the magazine’s latest issue. I suppose it’s possible to describe and analyze an entire issue, but I prefer to keep my reviews brief, and so I usually focus on just one or two pieces, to explore in each the signature style of its author. A piece by Nick Paumgarten is not like a piece by Dana Goodyear, and neither is like a piece by Ian Frazier. One could not mistake Finnegan for Friend, or Bilger for Lepore, or Collins for Khatchadourian. Each has found a style, and it is that style that I respond to as I read, and want to understand and describe.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best of 2015: Illustrations

Illustration by Roman Muradov

Here are my favorite New Yorker illustrations of 2015:

1. Conor Langton’s “Meredith Monk,” for Alex Ross’s "Guided By Voices," January 5, 2015.

2. Riccardo Vecchio’s “Matteo Renzi,” for Jane Kramer’s "The Demolition Man," June 29, 2015.

3. Daniel Krall’s “Molly Rankin,” for "Goings On: Spring Preview," March 9, 2015.

4. Chang Park’s “Kazuo Ishiguro,” for James Wood’s "The Uses of Oblivion," March 23, 2015.

5. Roman Muradov’s “Celebrating the Holidays,” for "Goings On About Town," November 30, 2015.

6. Barry Blitt’s “Donald Barthelme, Mavis Gallant, John Updike, J. D. Salinger, Muriel Spark,” for Deborah Treisman’s "Nine Decades of the Magazine: 1965-1975," February 23, 2015.

7. Rebecca Monk’s “Holiday Cocktail Lounge,” for Sarah Larson’s "Bar Tab," May 11, 2015.

8. Matthew Hollister’s “Lazy Point,” for Emma Allen’s "Bar Tab," August 10, 2015.

9. Ping Zhu’s “Cianciolo’s Kit,” for Andrea K. Scott’s "Boxing Days," June 29, 2015.

10. André Carrilho’s “Jeb Bush,” for Ryan Lizza’s "What Would Jeb Do?," October 26, 2015.

Credit: The above illustration, by Roman Muradov, is from Ian Frazier's "Greetings, Friends!," The New Yorker, December 23, 2015.

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