Christoph Niemann

written on 10/09/2020
by Candice Gärtner

Having the whole world explained, or even better, turned upside down, just by looking at a few strokes of oil paint on canvas – that’s the greatest thrill I know. - Christoph Niemann


You have probably never heard of him, but you have certainly seen one of his drawings. 



Christoph Niemann is a German illustrator, graphic designer and author, born in 1970.



Simple and clear lines define his work as does the infallible capacity to explain a complex matter in one picture, thus giving it a deepness of meaning that reveals itself with each layer of understanding the viewer reaches whilst contemplating the illustration.



Niemann lived in New York for several years and often illustrated the cover of the famous magazine The New Yorker.  This is why a lot of his work has a connection with the US and New York in particular.



Like every modern artist, Christoph Niemann has several social media accounts and reaches a much wider audience than you would through conventional ways of promoting art. Click here to see his Instagram account Abstract Sunday.



With his photo drawings, he is crossing the boundary between two art disciplines and giving us a glimpse of augmented reality.



Not only is it innovative, but as it is done using old fashioned tools, it’s more likely to speak to the viewer and make him study and think about it much longer.



The New Yorker asked him to illustrate their first augmented reality cover in 2016 which takes Niemann’s work to a whole other level. Have a look for yourself:


Furthermore Christoph Niemann is also a good oral storyteller and the best at explaining what his work is all about. Watch his TED Talk from 2018:


If you are interested  in learning more about Christoph Niemann, have a look at this documentary of the Abstract: The Art of Design series on Netflix or on YouTube:


If you prefer reading, click on this link for a multimedia journey along the Mekong, created for National Geographic.


All photos and drawings: ©Christoph Niemann