20 under 30

2012 New Visual Artist: George Michael Brower

“I make images, music and software,” the top of George Michael Brower’s website says. That’s as good an introduction as any to the 23-year-old designer’s body of work, which has been cross-disciplinary from the start. “My first act of graphic design was a Geocities website,” he says. “I became interested in programming shortly thereafter...

2012 New Visual Artist: Serifcan Ozcan

By William Bostwick When Scott Stowell first met Serifcan Ozcan, his student at SVA and, later, employee at Open, he thought, Turkish people are crazy. “Then I met other Turkish people, and they told me, No, Serifcan is crazy.” Of course he means: in a good way. The kind of crazy that picks up...

2012 New Visual Artist: Naz Sahin

By William Bostwick Naz Sahin uses the word obsessed often, but with purpose. Obsessively, you might say. But not when she talks about design. Her work is humble, orderly, packed with detail but expertly crafted: not a mosaic—a perfect brick wall. “I think she’s more creative than me,” says her husband and sometime collaborator,...

2012 New Visual Artist: Jing Wei

By Bronson Stamp There’s a photograph of Jing Wei in which she’s standing up to her neck in nachos. “I woke up one morning, and there was an enormous pile of nachos in the middle of our living room,” she says. “It was like waking up to a dream!” You won’t find many nachos...

2012 New Visual Artist: Dafi Kühne

Dafi Kühne took a rather circuitous route to becoming a graphic designer. He first fell in love with design during the year he spent studying architecture in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. When he decided that wasn’t a good fit, he dropped out of the program and spent a year working as a...

2012 New Visual Artist: Jungyeon Roh

By Justin Sullivan Soon after Jungyeon Roh began working as an illustrator, she had an unpleasant revelation. “I realized that we are just sitting and drawing all the time,” she says. “It’s really not healthy at all!” Movement is essential to Roh. Born in South Korea, she lived in Seoul for 23 years until...

2012 New Visual Artist: Lisa Hedge

By William Bostwick Lisa Hedge spent her first New York winter in Long Island City, working for Takashi Murakami’s studio, Kaikai Kiki, mixing 3,000 shades of green paint. “It was an insane design experiment in a way,” she says. “Matching what we were mixing to the swatches, making little samples, creating rules for ourselves....

2012 New Visual Artist: Ryan Thacker

By William Bostwick The infographic shows incarceration rates around the world, each country a rectangle in a prison yard, each rectangle a scatter plot of milling inmates. What you notice after a few minutes: The uniform colors are accurate, from America’s eyesore orange to France’s proletarian blue. What you notice after a few more...

2012 New Visual Artist: John Passafiume

By Jane Lerner Bach’s “Art of the Fugue” would make an ideal soundtrack to John Passafiume’s meticulous, mellifluous lettering and illustrations. “The baroque tendency to embellish is now considered excessive, but it’s something I happen to take seriously,” Passafiume says. “With Bach, decoration and virtuosity gesture at an abstract whole. The pursuit of, and...

2012 New Visual Artist: Olimpia Zagnoli

By Jane Lerner Cover for Green Like July’s album “Four-Legged Fortune,” 2010 Olimpia Zagnoli, it can be said, is the youngest New Visual Artist ever. Born on February 29, 1984—a leap day—she has technically celebrated only seven birthdays. “When I was little, I thought I was magic,” Zagnoli says. Though she has so far...