Contemporary Art

Making Art Out of Anything: Christoph Niemann’s Illustrations

Wojtek Rozdzenski 25 July 2022 min Read

A pair of bananas could become a horse or a poppy seeds bun could be stubble being shaved – you never know with Christoph Niemann and his illustrations.

Christoph Niemann abstract illustration
Christoph Niemann by Thomas Meyer. Lufthansa Magazin.

About the Artist

Christoph Niemann (b. 1970) is an illustration superstar and one of the reasons why The New Yorker covers are so beloved. He created dozens of covers for The New York Times, National Geographic, and Wired among many other magazines too. He has also made live drawings during the Venice Biennale, Olympic Games in London, and the New York City Marathon. His designs were purchased by big labels such as Hermés, Google, LAMY, and The Museum of Modern Art. Niemann studied in Stuttgart, at the State Academy of Fine Arts.

Christoph Niemann, Thanksgiving for The New Yorker, Nov 28, 2011. Artist's website.
Christoph Niemann, Thanksgiving for The New Yorker, Nov 28, 2011. Artist’s website.

Furthermore, he was featured in the very first episode of Abstract – The Art of Design. This Netflix series focuses on some of the most brilliant, creative minds alive, including Tinker Hatfield, Es Devlin, and Bjarke Ingels.

Christoph Niemann, China for The New Yorker, July 3, 2006.
Christoph Niemann, China for The New Yorker, July 3, 2006. Magazine’s website.


Niemann’s illustrations are often critical of the current world, politics, or modern society. Even though they are light in form, the images always make the viewer ask difficult questions about themselves. His works are also technical masterpieces, showing the artist’s untamed imagination and out-of-the-box thinking.

Christoph Niemann, Chapter 1: London from Dispatch from Europe.
Christoph Niemann, Chapter 1: London from Dispatch from Europe. Artist’s website.

Abstract Sunday Illustration

You can find pieces Niemann creates in his free time as a part of his project “Abstract Sunday” on his Instagram and Facebook.

These are some of the best examples of what the untamed imagination can create from everyday items when one looks at them from a different perspective. 

Christoph Niemann, Avocado Baseball.
Christoph Niemann, Avocado Baseball. Artist’s Instagram account.
Christoph Niemann, Rolls Royce
Christoph Niemann, Rolls Royce. Artist’s Instagram account.
Christoph Niemann, Horse.
Christoph Niemann, Horse. Artist’s Instagram account.
Christoph Niemann, Bubble Wrap
Christoph Niemann, Bubble Wrap. Artist’s Instagram account.


Environmental Art: Andy Goldsworthy, Wood Line,  2010–11, in the Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA. © Hollandog/ Contemporary Art

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