Adrian Esparza Transforms Mexican Serape Blankets Into Intricate Geometric Thread Installations

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Adrian Esparza

Texas-based artist Adrian Esparza uses nails and the thread from Mexican sarape blankets to weave colorful geometric patterns. Growing up in El Paso, Esparza encountered these blankets on a daily basis. Using his background as a painter, Esparza observed that the blankets contained painterly qualities that he sought to deconstruct. The result is an unraveling of a Mexican cultural symbol into a new form, a multi-dimensional landscape of color and shape. Esparza’s deconstruction and transformation of this cultural symbol reflects the displacement of identity that many Mexican-Americans experience as a result of migration. The wall pieces Esparza constructs from the serapes, though completely transformed, recall macrame and other handcrafts from the artist’s culture. Through his work, Esparza reinvents the ordinary and asks the viewer to embrace the potential for creative transformation that can be found in the familiar and the mundane.

Esparza’s work – titled “Wake and Wonder” –  will be on view at Pérez Art Museum Miami as part of the exhibition, “Americana: Formalizing Craft,” until May 2015.(via design boom)

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Olek And Four Other Artists Redefine Fiber Art

Olek

Olek

Erin Riley

Erin Riley

Olga De Amaral

Olga De Amaral

Olek

Olek

Fiber Arts have a longstanding history rooted in craft and tradition.  Woven objects have tended to be functional or decorative, and often viewed more as the works of artisans, as opposed to artists.  In the twentieth century this has begun to shift more, and in the 21st century the practice of weaving and knitting has been reclaimed and turned on its head by a number of artists that are forward thinking and highly skilled in their “craft.”  Artists included here are: Olga de Amaral, Erin Riley, Olek, Ann Tilley and Andrea Sherrill Evans.  It is important to note that historically weaving has been viewed as women’s work.  All of the artists included in this post are women, yet appear to have adopted the practice of weaving and redefined it on their own terms, while becoming masters in the process.

Olek‘s work is an absolutely fantastical explosion of bright-textural fun.  Often taking her work outside the white walls of galleries and into the streets, Olek has taken fibers to a place most thought impossible.  Some of the works she has made recently include huge feats such as completely encasing the Wall Street Bull in neon crocheted and knitted camouflage pattern and re-adorning a whole locomotive in rainbow patterned softness- completely handwoven. Her work tends to encase and cover objects and people- creating whole installations, performance art costumes and beautiful sculptural objects in a sort of renegade demonstration of liberated punk-rock-quirk.

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Jason Hughes’ Creates Artwork From Shredded Dollar Bills

Jason Hughes - Dollar Bills Jason Hughes - Dollar BillsJason Hughes - Dollar Bills

Now that the US government is not longer shut down (at least for the time being…), it feels like an appropriate time to visit the work of Jason Hughes. For years, he has used money as his medium, literally. Hughes obtains dollar bills previously removed from circulation and shredded by the government. He takes the bills, weaving them together or applying them to panel. With both approaches, it is staggering to think about the amount of work, attention to detail, and time that goes into each piece.

Sometimes, Hughes will take the scraps and weave them together, while other times he will arrange them to form different icons like a heart, bullseye, and eye. The imagery has ties to American culture. For instance, the star inside of the circle is reminiscent of the classic Converse All Star shoes.

The process of Hughes’ work is as important as the outcome. The act of creating a piece explores ideas of labor, value, and worth. It highlights the disparity between skilled labor and industry in the United States. Jobs that are often tedious, like working in a factory, for instance, are very low on the pay scale. But, they make things we have work and keep our homes, buildings, and society running smoothly.  Another Day, Another Dollar (directly above) reconstructs the dollar bill, which seems to say that yes, another day is another dollar, but when you consider the amount of work that went into that single dollars, it isn’t enough.

By taking this shredded money, which was otherwise worthless before, Hughes assigns a new value by changing its context. Now, composed and presented as art, he creates something that is worth much more than the sum of its parts.

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