Cover Considered

We link to essays and articles, as well as profiles and book reviews from this magazine constantly, but never previously to a cover and only once, by reference, to cartoons. The cover of this week’s issue merits consideration:

Birgit Schössow’s “The Future Is Here”

The artist talks about incorporating environmental themes in her work, and the historical inspiration behind her cover for the Climate Issue.

Françoise Mouly,  Birgit Schössow

Hokusai’s “Under the Wave off Kanagawa,” circa 1830-32, is said to have inspired Debussy’s piece “La mer” (The Sea) and Rilke’s poem “Der Berg” (The Mountain).

In her new cover, the Germany-based artist Birgit Schössow drew inspiration from an artistic masterpiece. Starting in the late seventeen-hundreds, the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai created woodblock prints in a genre called ukiyo-e, part of an artistic movement known as “the floating world.” One of Hokusai’s best-known works is one of a series called “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” that shows a giant wave cresting in the foreground. The wave’s dramatic curve and stature, topped with a skim of frilly foam, are so eye-catching that you might miss the slender fishing boat it’s about to topple onto. Continue reading