“Am I laughably naïve to think we might all somehow grow up and continue this relatively youngish two-hundred-and-forty-six-year-old experiment? I’m starting to think I am,” the artist Chris Ware said. His cover for the July 4, 2022, issue of the magazine captures the divides underlying this year’s Independence Day celebrations. As suburban real-estate agents prepare to carpet the nation’s lawns with miniature flags, millions of Americans are riveted to the proceedings of the House select committee investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Down the street, the Supreme Court struck down, on June 23rd, a New York state law restricting the ability to carry a gun in public, even as the Senate voted to pass gun-control legislation in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting.
The artist discusses urban spaces and classic Russian children’s books.
New York may be a city where a person can, for the amount one might reasonably expect to pay for a month’s rent in many parts of this country, partake in an hours-long omakase experience featuring toro topped with osetra caviar and uni served with white truffle. Its temples of art may house some of the most renowned—and well-insured—art in the world. But it is also a city that embraces the epicure of the hot dog and the patron of the sidewalk artist. I recently spoke to this week’s cover artist, Victoria Tentler-Krylov, about city planning and sketching people on the subway.
On May 24th, an eighteen-year-old gunman shot and killed nineteen children and two adults at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas. The horrific spree came just ten days after thirteen people were shot—ten of them killed—at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, by a self-professed white supremacist. In the past two months, Americans have also been confronted with mass shootings at a church, a flea market, and inside a subway car during the morning rush-hour. The magazine’s cover for the June 6, 2022, issue, is by the artist Eric Drooker, who echoes the weary rage of many when he says, “I hastily scrawled this image, wondering, Why are Americans so infatuated with guns in the first place? What are they so afraid of?”
It is thought that cats lived alongside people for thousands of years, hunting the rodents that inevitably accompany human settlements, before they deigned to become domesticated—a state that many cat owners can attest feels provisional to this day. One research paper on the history of the house cat observes, “Let us just say that our cats do not take instruction well. Such attributes suggest that whereas other domesticates were recruited from the wild by humans who bred them for specific tasks, ancestors of domestic cats most likely chose to live among humans because of opportunities they found for themselves.”
This week’s cover, by the designer Frank Viva, is a colorful, lyrical springtime ode to the pleasures of biking. We spoke to Viva about his love affair with cycling, his island retreat, and learning to prioritize what matters.
For the second year in a row, basketball fans in New York have felt the sting of disappointed dreams. The Brooklyn Nets are, in the words of the staff writer Vinson Cunningham, “a theoretical super-team, not a fully realized force,” and they crashed out of the playoffs in the first round, after losing to the Boston Celtics in “a sweep that even the worst Nets pessimist wouldn’t have predicted.” And yet, on the city’s many courts, the game goes on. We spoke to Kadir Nelson about celebrating a beloved urban pastime.
On the cover of the Innovation & Technology Issue, Christoph Niemann captures the eternal tug of war between the lure of the outside and the joys of technology. Even for a prehistoric cave dweller, the tablet could prove potently absorbing. The dilemma has only grown as the number and variety of technological gadgets has proliferated. We recently talked to the artist about the place of digital tools and good old-fashioned paper and pencil in his creative process.
April 18, 2022 – The street corner on this week’s cover, with towering luxury condos rising among modest family homes, evokes a neighborhood in transition—a scene that is being repeated across New York City’s outer boroughs. We talked to the artist Nicole Rifkin, who lived in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights before rising rents pushed her out, about a sense of belonging and observing the small details of the place where you live.