American Illustration 31
At age 31, American Illustration is still shaking things up with the year’s most subversive work by illustrators, fine artists and designers. American Illustration 31 draws you in with an anatomical cover that shows you where you’re going and where you’re coming from, with the first and last images revealed through die cuts in the eye’s pupil. Created by Zachary Zezima and designed by Paul Sahre, the cover art turns in on itself with layers of musculature, “eye floaters” and blood vessels until you reach the whopping collection of 439 winning images, as selected by a jury of art and design professionals from over 8,000 submissions to the annual competition. As illustration continues to evolve into a more widely utilized yet less obviously defined medium, opening American Illustration 31 may leave the reader with more questions than answers, as they sink into its visual wonders. Print still reigns supreme with images from the country’s top magazines and books represented, but also included in the mix are little oddities and gems that defy categorization. Lowbrow versus highbrow has a firm place in the collection, with an intriguing selection of images representing assignments that include a stamp project for the United Nations Postal Administration and a set of limited-edition coins for The Royal Canadian Mint.