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Nicole Rifkin’s Nostalgia-Soaked Illustrations

Nicole Rifkin, a Brooklyn-based artist who specializes in digital illustration, offers nostalgic, brightly hued narratives in her pieces. Rifkin, who does editorial work for The New Yorker and Medium and founded of the art magazine Ipsum, creates scenes that obscure faces and figures, rendering pops of colorful abstraction against realism.

Nicole Rifkin, a Brooklyn-based artist who specializes in digital illustration, offers nostalgic, brightly hued narratives in her pieces. Rifkin, who does editorial work for The New Yorker and Medium and founded of the art magazine Ipsum, creates scenes that obscure faces and figures, rendering pops of colorful abstraction against realism.

In a 2014 interview with Constructed By, Rifkin cited music as a primary influence on her work. Chief among a list with names like Superchunk and Slint, she offered the nostalgic tone of Arcade Fire’s tunes as an oft-used backdrop during the process of creating a new piece. Non-fiction books and the “gorgeous” films of David Lynch were also listed as having significance in her work. Tomes like Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small, she says, “makes me feel like I need to work harder.”


A graduate of the Pratt Institute, Rifkin is currently in the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She was recently part of group shows in Los Angeles at spaces like Gallery 1988 and Hero Complex Gallery. Aside from creating these kinetic works of pop art, Rifkin says her interests include “sleep and becoming more like Oprah.”





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