For anyone unfamiliar with the work of Mirko Ilić here’s a swift biopic. He was born in Bijeljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina and graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Zagreb. From there he began an illustrious career creating radical political comics and illustration, moved to New York, art directed Time International, became art director of The New York Times’ op-eds section and created the animated title-sequence to 1998 smash-hit comedy You’ve Got Mail.
Aside from that last bit his career has been pretty illustrious and taken in nearly every aspect of commercial visual practice, from creating linear panel narratives to book design, logo creation to elaborate digital art.
With over 40 years of experience to his name and a back catalogue that’s full to bursting with incredible work it seems only natural to produce an enormous retrospective of his work, which is exactly what New York-based publishers Print have done. The result is painstakingly thorough, examining Mirko’s work in microscopic detail from his humble early days to latter years in a more prominent position, shaping the visual landscape of The New York Times. What emerges is the portrait of a man fiercely committed to pushing the boundaries of visual culture and challenging his viewers’ perceptions – visually and conceptually. If you’re impressed by sheer quantity though, the amount of work Mirko’s produced in his life so far is enough to make your mind boggle.