Art Carpet 2.0: Bold Graphics No Longer Swept Under the Rug

richard phillips rug.jpgA couple of years ago, the Art Production Fund collaborated with ABC Carpet to produce a line of rugs designed by such artists as Hernan Bas, Richard Phillips (at right), Rob Pruitt, and Sarah Morris. And the idea of adorning one’s floor with fluffy (and usually more affordable) versions of the canvases coveted for walls caught on. In a feature in today’s Los Angeles Times, Janet Eastman suspects that a new art rug trend is underfoot: “graphic illustrations of sex, drugs, and other not-so-PG themes rendered by designers who look to the floor as an uncensored canvas.”

Eastman points to designers such as Jorgen Evil Ekvoll and Can Sayinli, whose “War” rug is a woven silk tableau of blood and guns. For those looking to adorn their floors with something more whimsical, there is Dan Golden, who has designed a series of rugs adorned with cartoony graphics often accompanied by smart-alec text that seems ripped from a Shoebox Greetings card. His “Morphine” rug sets a giant red cross against a swath of hand-tufted white New Zealand wool. Woven into the rug in a Matt Groening-style scrawl are the words “Some one once said laughter is the best medicine — they’re wrong. Morphine is the best medicine.”

So what’s behind this rug revolution? And why are people now willing to pay thousands to decorate their floors with art carpets when until recently a roll of sisal would do the job? “The line between art and design has been erased, and now there is the freedom to create in whatever medium suits the artist,” Golden told the LAT. “And there’s absolutely a move for people living in a modern, minimalist setting to want to loosen up and make a statement with rugs, to express something more individual, a certain attitude, playfulness.”