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Artist Captures Recession Times... | by MyEyeSees
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Artist Captures Recession Times...

Tim Robinson, a free-lance illustrator, produced this drawing (copyright NYTimes) to accompany an article on January 10, 2009, in the NYTimes, Off The Charts, In the Wrong Direction.


His art has conceptual twists. I've blogged more on this artist. He captures stories visually and gives them a delightful and whimsical flair that stands out among the art and illustrations being used for the financial crisis. I first noticed his creative and colorful art when it appeared on the front of a Sunday Business Section with a huge illustration on April and it was the backdrop for my favorite Beringer wine in a Flickr photo Good Wine, Bad Economy.


I select this artist as one of the best capturing the difficult economy with bright graphics. Telling the story visually of our financial crisis isn't easy. You don't have the excitement, say, of CNN's Anderson Cooper on the ground with Hurricane Katrina, or in the sea swimming with sharks.


Most journalists and artists are not educated in business and so for an artist to be able to capture this as an ongoing special talent is something to pay attention to.


He worked under Milton Glaser (who did the I Heart NY logo) and his clients are heavyweights.


Paying attention to how the media is covering the Financial Crisis is party of my ongoing study, which started in September. It starts with Part I: Sept. U.S. Financial Crisis and is ongoing.


This artist is worth paying attention to. His work is outstanding, as this illustration shows. Market charts have no personal component. They are dry graphs that are not humanized. Making the charts and graphs and statistical data have a life and a story isn't easy. The utter confounding nature of this crisis, which some now call a depression (Great Depression 2.0 is what NYTimes columnnist Paul Krugman termed it only recently), will make fodder for study for years in the business curriculum of college courses. No one has nailed it; the story is unfolding.



This particular art shows the confusion of people to this crashing market, the surprise of it, the lack of understanding, the chaos and the way it has shattered our concepts. One older guy, dressed in an academic's khaki pants and blue oxford uniform, glasses on nose, is reaching for broken pieces on the ground, stopped mid-way as if he were not sure where to even start to pick up the pieces. Another guy, in jeans, young and hip in dress, seems perplexed, already holding a bright yellow piece of the broken chart, tilted in a hopeful positive direction, as if willing the market to turn upwards. Another, in red (jail-like ) stripes, is running away holding a piece of the action, as if stealing something he shouldn't have. The chart has broken at the bottom, but there is not an end in site. Where does the chart go from here? Is our sense of charting even relevant anymore? Has our sense of measurement been superseded by global technology? How do we interpret where we are?


This illustration almost perfectly captures the entire story of our crisis, at the moment.


The artist's personal website is the first link at the top and his contact information is there. Tim Robinson is a hot artist to mark and watch for these wild and scary times. The NYTimes is savvy to hire him to illustrate the stories they are writing to capture the facts and make them understandable. The NYTimes has used some of the best illustrators and they are spot on in hiring Robinson to help tell their stories which are big but can be very boring.


Most people can't understand the intricacies, nuances and economic details of the financial crisis. Our world is becoming more visual. As the NYTimes grabs more of an international market and has specialized in business news and Wall Street for a long time, how they tell this story to the world is significant.

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Taken on January 13, 2009