There can be no argument that Christoph Niemann takes chances every time he puts pen or brush to paper (or Legos, for that matter). His recent limited edition book of ink and watercolor drawings and paintings, “Hopes and Dreams“, the catalog of an exhibition of the same name, derives from a trip to Los Angeles, ostensibly to meet David Hockney. “From the first time I saw hockney’s pool paintings and pencil portraits,” Niemann writes in a brush scrawl, “I’ve been hooked. Beyond the art itself, I’m inspired by his obsession with reinventing the world on paper and canvas.”
While waiting for Hockney to grant an audience, Niemann “allowed” himself to be entertained by L.A.’s landscape, people and entertainment wannabes. His text chronicles the feelings evoked by the City of Angels. The drawn and printed images document the everyday world in a fluidly enticing and loving manner. Its hard to think of Christmas when looking at L.A.’s towering palms, but this document is a cherished gift, from a great artist.
Incidentally, Niemann did meet Hockney at his studio yet only made one picture — of cigarette butts strewn on the floor — because he was so enthralled by talking with the master.
About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →