On Monday, the magazine shared the cover illustration by Adrian Tomine for its 7 December issue, which features a woman dressed in a blouse, hoop earrings and shorts holding a martini glass and sitting in front of her laptop surrounded by a messy home.
The illustration includes details such as old Chinese takeout boxes and pill bottles on her desk, as well as a pile of clothes sitting atop a chair and a sink full of dirty dishes.
On the floor, where a cat lounges, Tomine included discarded medical gloves, various Amazon boxes, hand weights, a bottle of hand sanitiser and a face mask.
According to Tomine, the cover, titled “Love Life,” catalogues “artifacts from daily pandemic life,” while also conveying the realities of navigating online dating during a time when many people are confined to their homes.
The laptop sitting on a pile of books, with a table lamp shining on the woman seated in front of the computer, is a reference to the constant quest for perfect Zoom lighting, the artist said, explaining that he has “wasted an insane amount of time thinking about lighting in Zoom meetings, so it seemed fitting that it would be central to this image”.
On social media, where the cover has been liked more than 6,000 times, hundreds of people have applauded Tomine for the realistic illustration.
— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) November 30, 2020
“We’ve all experienced some version of this in 2020. Great cover,” one person tweeted.
Another joked: “Who knew that I was the inspiration for the cover of the New Yorker.”
I identify with this cover to an uncomfortable degree. https://t.co/Fox5ZzJXou
— Jen Deaderick (@jendeaderick) December 1, 2020
Others have shared photos of their own homes to compare to the cover illustration, with one woman saying the magazine captured the “reality-beyond-the-webcam-lens of at-home life perfectly”.
My garage studio setup for a Zoom meeting yesterday and my work/school setup inside the house today. The artist of the cover of @NewYorker for this week captured the reality-beyond-the-webcam-lens of at-home life perfectly. https://t.co/ox5psjf0es pic.twitter.com/NTtcWZAy7U
— Ashley (@ashleygraceful) December 1, 2020
But, while the illustration has proved relatable and light-hearted in this moment in time, Tomine said he isn’t sure he’ll look back on the cover in a positive light years from now.
“I have a feeling that, years from now, I might look back at this cover and have a kind of PTSD reaction to something as insignificant as a bottle of hand sanitiser,” he told the magazine.