Eye on Art / 19


Eye on ArtHappy Tuesday! How is your week coming along? For fellow students, how is your school year so far? On my end, after this month of midterms, production schedules, and the continued transition into college, I’m looking forward to the break Thanksgiving will provide. Brown is starting to feel like a home away from home, but I’ll admit: I’ve been counting down the days until I can see my friends in person and have my favorite Turkey Day dishes (homemade cranberry sauce, anyone?).

This morning, I still have a few readings to attend to, news to catch up on, and a Secret Santa present to plan (!!), but I first wanted to share another edition of Eye on Art. I keep a running list of people I’d like to feature in this series — some of which I add after seeing only one piece of theirs — but the three below are artists I’ve long admired. Whether it’s in the form of books, illustrations, or portraits, they make me want to create all day long! What art have you been crushing on as of late?

Jennifer GriffithsTo start, it’s not often that I see book covers treated as works of art outside of the bookish community. It’s a shame, because I’ve found many a gem in the portfolios of cover designers and art directors. One of my most recent favorites is the work of Penguin Random House designer Jennifer Griffiths, a small sample of which is shown above. Though the genres of the books she designs differ, they are consistent in their display of a strong understanding of type, image, and the ways in which they can intertwine.

I’d say I’d like to have copies of all of the books she designed for my shelves, but to do that would leave the covers unseen. I’ll settle instead for admiring from afar — particularly the cover and interior design of The Dead Husband Project. Isn’t it stunning? (Psst: If you want more thoughts on all things cover design, I suggest The Casual Optimist. The archives are a fun afternoon read!). {website}

Oana BefortI hate to use the term “hygge,” for I fear it’s wrongly being overused, but I can’t think of a better word to describe the artwork of Romanian illustrator Oana Befort. Clearly adept in her use of gouache, watercolor, and a number of other mediums, Befort captures, for me at least, coziness and nostalgia, not to mention the simplistic beauty of the outdoors.

With such a distinct illustrative design, it’s easy to see why Befort is in such high demand as a freelancer; in addition to her editorial and client work, she also has an Etsy shop where her prints are available for purchase. I myself want to buy a few of her pieces for my dorm room gallery wall — I happen to think the bunny or the deer paintings would provide much-needed warmth in the second semester. {website}

Rikki NiehausFinally, I’m never one to turn down a trip to IKEA — even if it’s only through paintings! As the humorous title suggests, the Swedish Landscapes series by artist Rikki Niehaus showcases the interior of the furniture superstore. It’s among her most acclaimed work, and for good reason: it’s a creative commentary on classic portraits and the all-encompassing quality of IKEA stores.

Niehaus’ portfolio, however, is not limited to showcasing suited men in patterned chairs. Her other paintings, which range from a smiling ballerina to a stony-faced and sitting duo, all illustrate her expertise in portraiture; as she writes, Niehaus uses the style to “confront and engage the viewer directly.” If I haven’t made this clear already, choosing a favorite would be a near impossible task — I like them all. {website}

Have the most wonderful Tuesday!

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