Author(s): Francoise Mouly
In an era of amped-up political speech and proliferating news outlets magazine covers still have the power to influence public opinion and even change minds. New Yorker covers under the art direction of Francois Mouly since 1993 have broken through the clutter of journalistic cliches using traditional means; hand-drawn illustrations, satire and caricature. In Blown Covers M ouly takes us behind the scenes at The New Yorker and reveals how the magazine creates its signature visual commentary. She describes how the artists, who conceptualise and realise their images on tight deadlines, end up capturing accurately all the benchmark moments of the past two decades. Mouly explains why she encourages artists to send outrageous images never censuring the ideas as too crude, savage, obvious or partisan and shows how these are essential stages in the evolution of a cover that stands the test of time by retaining its edge. Moulys book captures contemporary history, from the farce of Monica Lewinsky, to the adventures of Michelle and Barak, to nuclear meltdown in Japan, in images that are as accurate as they are outrageous. More than that, it shows how the magazine that exem plifies journalistic excellence also dares to cultivate a sense of humour when grappling with complex moral and political issues.
Frangoise Mouly is an artist and designer. She has been the art editor of The New Yorker since 1993