The Artist Behind This Week's Heartbreaking New Yorker Japan Cover Explains How It Came About

new yorker japan cover cropped

A “Dark Spring” in Japan adorns the much talked-about cover of the March 28, 2011 issue of The New Yorker.

But before the artwork went to print, artist Christoph Niemann tells us he was suffering a creative dilemma.

“I realised that there is no way a drawing that depicts the devastation, can come close to the heart-wrenching and bizarre photos I’ve seen everywhere,” Niemann says.

And so with “a lot of plain 8.5×11 paper, pencils, coffee and banging [his] head on the table,” Niemann blended his admiration for Japanese ink drawings, and came up with with this concept.

“The quiet beauty of plum blossoms mixed with the radiation symbol would make an eery and appropriate metaphor for the threat of a nuclear catastrophe.”

It certainly is beautiful, morose, and symbolic all at once. 

Full artwork below.

New Yorker Cover Dark Spring Japan

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.