Randall Munroe is a bad man who is back with another bad map projection to make our eyes bleed. (If he does this often enough he’ll have enough for a book. Heaven forfend.) This one is, like his other maps, fiendishly subtle: it stretches and compresses countries to fit where their time zones ought to be, longitudinally speaking.
50 Fantasy States is Chris Engelsma’s ongoing project to create fantasy-style maps of all 50 U.S. states. Six have been completed so far, including the above fantasy map of Alaska.
An exhibition of Sohei Nishino’s work is taking place right now at SFMOMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In his Diorama Map series, Nishino assembles patchwork-quilt aerial views of cities from thousands of his photographs; each city is thrown deep into its own uncanny valley. Here’s an Atlas Obscura profile
An exhibition opening this week at the Jane Lombard Gallery in Manhattan features, among others, the work of Christine Gedeon, an artist who “uses a sewing machine, fabric and paint on raw canvas to create improvisational stitched ‘plots’ that toe the line between abstraction and landscape. Examining issues of the urban environment, cartography, and urban planning, Gedeon investigates how humans interact with each other and our built environment to form relationships, narratives, and identities.” Examples of Gedeon’s stitched work can be found at her website.
Last November art historian James Welu gave a talk at the Leventhal Map Center about Jan Vermeer’s use of maps in his paintings. The talk is now available on YouTube. I found it fascinating that Vermeer represented actual maps in his paintings — many of which are now very scarce or available only fragmentarily. [Leventhal Map Center]
At The Skiffy and Fanty Show, Paul Weimer reviews Atlas Obscura. “So is there a point to the book? Is there any good reason to read the book and not just go trolling and traversing through the website, which has many more entries? Yes. Even in an interconnected world such as ours, there is a tactile experience to flipping through this book, coffee table style […] While wandering through links on the website is a time-honored tradition, the book has a presentation that the website can’t quite match.” I reviewed Atlas Obscura last September.
Forbes contributor Tanya Mohn reviews Katherine Harmon’s latest map art book, You Are Here: NYC: Mapping the Soul of the City (previously). If all goes well (it doesn’t always, mind), I should have my own review of this book up later this week. [WMS]
As for the other new map book about New York City, Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro’s Non-Stop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas, there’s a review up on Hyperallergic by Allison Meier, replete with photos of the book. “Every map is an intense act of creative collaboration, with essays and illustrations in Nonstop Metropolis from over 30 artists and writers. […] And the maps emphasize that this city’s character is often missing from our more official cartography.” [WMS]
Running until 30 November at the Penarth Pier Pavilion in Penarth, Wales, Dyma Gariad (fel y moroedd)/Here is a love (deep as oceans) is an exhibition by Welsh artist Iwan Bala. It’s an angry, provocative collection of caricatures and maps about Brexit, from a strongly Remain perspective, done in a style described by the Penarth Times as “the rapid often stumbled, crossed out, corrected, blotted, re-adjusted rush to put thoughts on paper and the attempt of a poet to capture a line before it ebbs in the memory.” As the Pavilion describes the exhibition:
Responding to the result of the electorate’s vote on the UK’s EU membership, Bala began to make (alongside politicized ‘maps’), satirical caricatures of the principle [sic] players in the lead up to and result of Brexit. An Artist has a duty to comment, protest and become an agent provocateur through the medium of visual communication. Cartoons have a long and illustrious history, and have always lurked somewhere in the background environs of his artwork.
They may have been anticipating some pushback—the exhibition also had a content warning—and indeed the exhibition has gotten some angry responses sufficient that the Pavilion had to issue a statement defending their decision to host it. That alone tells me it was a success: art provokes. [WMS]
Map art will be featured on the walls of a new hotel in Dubai: the upcoming Address Boulevard Hotel will display art by Matthew Picton (previously) and Ewan David Eason. [WMS]
Today’s xkcd is a British map labelled by an American. It’s another one of those where the longer you stare at it, the more it hurts. Randall’s messing with us again.
The Bangkok Post interviews artist Karoon Keamviriyasatean (aka Zillv).
Today is the publication date for Katharine Harmon’s latest book of map art: You Are Here: NYC: Mapping the Soul of the City (Princeton Architectural Press). This is Harmon’s third map art book and features some two hundred maps of New York City, “charting every inch and facet of the five boroughs, depicting New Yorks of past and present, and a city that never was.” Fast Company Co.Design’s Meg Miller has a piece on the book. [via]
Previously: A Forthcoming Map Art Book About New York City.
Texas Monthly has a piece about Christopher Alan Smith, who for the past decade has been creating original maps, mostly of Texas and Texas-related subjects. It’s been his full-time gig since 2008. Smith uses a mixture of pen-and-ink and acrylic paints:
I tend to follow the style of postage stamps and currency. I use a pen-and-ink stipple technique, which is a series of dots that create the illusion of halftones. Cross-hatching is another method, using lines instead of dots. I’ve also started using engraved wood to give the maps a layered, 3-D look. For example, on my Thirteen Colonies map, I illustrated the coastline on two layers of hardboard.
The latest map to go viral is Robert Szucs’s dramatic and colourful map of the U.S. river basins. It’s even more spectacular in high resolution. Made with QGIS, the map separates river basin by colour and assigns stream thickness by Strahler number. I do have a couple of quibbles. The map doesn’t distinguish between the Hudson Bay and Atlantic watersheds: the Great Lakes and Red River basins are coloured the same way. And speaking of the Great Lakes, I have no idea why they look like ferns here. The map is available for sale on Etsy, along with similar maps of other countries, continents and regions. Daily Mail coverage.