MapCarte 3/365: Map by Jasper Johns, 1961


Putting the art squarely into cartography, here Jasper Johns adds to his use of easily recognisable images as a basis for his work by using the map of the United States. ┬áIt’s a colourful celebration of both America and the map and which hangs in the MoMA in New York. Johns intent was for viewers to already know an image well enough that they simply ‘see it’ without having to look or examine in depth. This, of course, is one of the fundamental aspects of map design – to create a product whose design is implicit rather than explicit so the map reader doesn’t need to work hard to get the meaning. This example is an imaginary piece that we can use as a metaphor for the abstract nature of mapping itself. Colourful and playful; interesting and immersive.