Christoph Niemann’s video art, Traffic Pong, made available to collectors for $3,000
The illustrator makes his first move into the collector’s market with a video piece, depicting an aerial view of a busy road where the cars transform into balls in the video game Pong.
- Jenny Brewer
- 3 December 2019
A video art piece by renowned illustrator Christoph Niemann is, for the first time, being made available to collectors for the tidy sum of $3,000. Going on show at Contemporary and Digital Art Fair (CADAF) during Miami Art Week, the piece titled Traffic Pong will be exhibited by Praise Shadows Fine Art, and depicts an aerial view of the busy Avenida Paulita in São Paulo, Brazil, wherein the cars transform into balls in the video game Pong.
As a branch to his longstanding illustration practice, Niemann has also become known for his illustrative interludes on photographs of real-life situations, where he draws characters into scenarios to add comedy and alter their perception – for instance, his recent illustrated guide to Brexit for The New York Times. His new video piece takes this concept into moving image, seeing a road full of cars as the table for a match of the 70s classic Atari arcade game shows the road from a bird’s eye view, the Pong paddles batting a ball back and forth, using a traffic jam as a bounce board, and transforming the odd car into a new ball for the game.
The video plays on a loop soundtracked by audio reminiscent of the original game, and is available in an edition of ten. Buyers will receive the video on a USB drive with a certificate of authenticity, signed by Niemann. Praise Shadows calls the piece a "keen and humorous observation of modernity," using animation to highlight our contemporary urban environment while "acknowledging the tremendous influence of digital culture through video games."
CADAF takes place from 5-8 December at Mana Wynwood, Miami. Read more about the burgeoning digital art market in Bob Bicknell-Knight’s fascinating piece, A beginner’s guide to the world of digital art.