Elle Décor (USA)


New York artist Sanford Biggers weaves a bevy of cultural allusions into a showstoppi­ng rug.

- JENS MORTENSEN PHOTOGRAPH BY byhenzel.com Styled by Laurel J. Benedum

Sanford Biggers weaves cultural allusions into a showstoppi­ng rug

When multimedia artist Sanford Biggers was approached by the rug company Henzel Studio about a collaborat­ion, he was no stranger

to textiles, having previously used fabrics in his work. However, his design for Henzel marks the first time Biggers has ever treated a rug like a canvas. As the basis for this project, Biggers chose a drawing he made in the early 2000s, influenced by sumi-e ink-wash paintings and Buddhist thangkas, traditiona­l paintings on fabric. “I thought the material might be able to catch the nuances of the original drawing,” he explains. The finished hand-knotted, Persian-weave rug, titled Ibeji (Duet), features twin carved figures from Yoruba culture that are thought to possess spiritual powers. As is the tradition with Henzel’s ongoing artist series, Biggers received creative carte blanche. “The invited artists are free to disregard all design principles and rules,” says Joakim Andreasson, the program’s curator.

“It’s essential for them to think of this as an artistic process rather than a design one.” —Kate McGregor

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