Abstract: The Art of Design is a new Netflix original series released on February 10, 2017. The eight-episode documentary series features artists from various disciplines, including architecture, photography, stage design, and much more. In each 45 minute spotlight, one artist is presented, diving deep into their creative process, inspirations, and personal philosophies.
Abstract will help you understand the future by seeing the intent behind the objects that surround us—and the beauty in the decisions that led to them. –Scott DADICH, executive producer of Abstract
There is definitely a good amount of hype around Abstract. Several friends reached out and asked me if I had seen it already. I even signed up for Netflix just to watch it, and can highly recommend it! Yes, it’s even worth giving Netflix your bank details.
What makes Abstract great is that it allows artists to tell you their stories. I know, you are probably thinking that is what their art if for, but it is kind of different. The narratives are personal; each artist tells you what inspires them, their process, and even their fears. Each episode provides you with an in-depth view into not just just an artist, but also their respective industry.
My favorite episode is the first episode is with the illustrator Christoph Niemann. Niemann is most known for his New Yorker cover designs. You have probably seen his witty Sunday sketches on Instagram before. I really enjoyed the transatlantic connect that Niemann has, living in Berlin and traveling often to New York City. After watching this episode, I even bought some ink to try out a different medium. Inspiration doens’t get much better than than that! Plus, I keep secretly hoping that I will bump into him on the street now.
Another favorite of mine is the 6th episode with the graphic designer Paula Scher. Scher is a partner of the design consultancy Pentagram and a painter. Her love of typography reminded me of a great Arte series called Typo-Safari. Calligraphy and typography are definitely budding interests of mine, especially as I start deep diving into Chinese art with my trip to coming up in April.
The episodes featuring stage designer Es Devlin and Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield are also wonderful. Both of these episodes were especially inspiring, because the artists’ jobs are super specific and specialized. Don’t you always wonder how people get these kind of jobs? They both seem to be aware of everyones curiosity, and tell really touching personal stories about how they both got into their fields. Plus, I really liked finding out more about Hatfield, because especially after reading Shoe Dog, I have an huge respect for the initial brains before Nike that helped transform the startup into a huge corporation.
Abstract appeals to an array of art enthusiasts! The fact that the episodes span a variety of design fields is a huge plus. I certainly expect there to be a second season featuring different artists such as calligraphers, UX designers and video game designers. Two thumbs up for Abstract!
Have you watched Abstract? What is your favorite episode? Tell me in the comments below. 👇