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.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Best of 2016: Illustrations

Illustration by Bendik Kaltenborn

Here are my favorite New Yorker illustrations of 2016:

1. Bendik Kaltenborn’s “Thundercat,” for Matthew Trammell’s “Night Life: Rock Bottom,” June 6 & 13, 2016 (see above).

2. Bendik Kaltenborn’s “Xiu Xiu,” for Benjamin Shapiro’s “Night Life: Wonderful and Strange,” April 25, 2016.

Illustration by Bendik Kaltenborn

3. Bendik Kaltenborn’s “Samantha Bee,” for Emily Nussbaum’s “Hive Mind,” May 9, 2016.

Illustration by Bendik Kaltenborn

4. Andrea Ventura’s “Max Beckmann and Paul Hindemith,” for Russell Platt’s “Classical Music: The Good Germany,” October 17, 2016.

Illustration by Andrea Ventura

5. Simone Massoni’s, “Kaija Saariaho,” for Alex Ross’s “Sound Waves,” October 31, 2016.

Illustration by Simone Massoni

6. Bjorn Lie’s “Mezcal Sunrise,” for Dana Goodyear’s “Mezcal Sunrise,” April 4, 2016.

Illustration by Bjorn Lie

7. Eleanor Davis’s “Damon Baehrel,” for Nick Paumgarten’s “The Country Restaurant,” August 29, 2016.

Illustration by Eleanor Davis

8. Dadu Shin’s “La Verità,” for Joan Acocella’s “Dance: Dali Unpacked,” May 2, 2016.

Illustration by Dadu Shin

9. Ping Zhu’s “At the Hawk’s Well,” for Joan Acocella’s “Dance: Otherworldly,” October 31, 2016.

Illustration by Ping Zhu

10. Eleanor Davis’s “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird,” for Russell Platt’s “Classical Music Spring Review,” March 14, 2016.

Illustration by Eleanor Davis

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