Saul Steinberg‘s illustrations combine whimsy with art, creating mini-worlds that are clean and simple but at the same time lead the eye to someplace happy and bright.
Like a refined dose of Dr. Seuss, Steinberg prefers to draw realistically, turning typical scenes into magical places where the trees stretch up taller than the buildings – a small detail that makes our world seem more like a simply designed amusement park where thrill and wonder fill the air.
His work for the New Yorker explains all the scenes of the city, but I prefer the imaginary “Children’s Labyrinth,” drawn as part of the History of Architecture section of a mural. On the left sits a log cabin surrounded by the stumps of the trees those logs used to be. The most beautifully detailed tree stands next to the little building puffing smoke; the tree’s branches take delicate curlicue shapes as they expand just like the smoke beside them.
See more of Saul Steinberg’s work online at the Saul Steinberg Foundation Gallery.