Preview: Back Against the Wall – Carini Lang

By - Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Opening this Wednesday, April 23rd in Tribeca at Carini Lang is, “Back Against the Wall”, a collection of fifty graffiti and street art inspired rugs featuring artists, COST, PIXOTE, DAIN, RAE, ELLE, JIM JOE, BEAU, ENX, STINKFISH, EARSNOT & READER, TAXI, BASER, KOSBE, ELIK, EINE, PERU ANNA ANNA PERU, THIRD WORLD PIRATE and RUSK/JULIAN GILBERT. Each piece is unique and were hand woven in Nepal for the exhibit.

We asked carpet maker, Joseph Carini a few questions as he installed the show in the space and gave us a preview of what to expect on opening night.

How did you select the artists for the rugs?
Well, I got really into street art around the time of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I grew up in New York so I was always around it and noticed it but at that time, I just started photographing a lot and I met some of the artists and through them I met other artists and thats how it started.

How many artists total did you work with?
I worked with twenty different street artists and they were all completely different to work with. COST is really great to work with because he is such an icon and innovator. DAIN was great to work with because his imagery really translated well as did Rae’s, he was so creative, his images really lent themselves to large scale. Everybody in the show I feel excited about, that was the criteria, I could only move forward with the project if I felt good about it.

Can you tell us a little bit about the process in creating the rugs?
So the carpets are handwoven and actually the materials are hand processed so the wool is hand spun. We tried not to use chemicals, using natural dyes when we could. This is ancient carpet technology to make contemporary rugs. The larger rugs probably took around four to six months to make from start to finish. The smaller ones of course took a few months. We mixed in unusual materials on some of them. Theres a lot of silk used throughout, some of them have metallic threads and wool, a lot of experimentation happened.

Is this something you are going to continue to explore after the show?
We will see if the artists want to continue working on this. I mean, all of these pieces are limited editions or one offs and I am not sure what will evolve out of the project, there could be future collections but the pieces that I made are unique to the show and I won’t make them again. If the interest is there for future collaborations, Its just important to me that they are authentic and not a commercial venture. In fact, I just wanted to do the art justice, that was behind it for me. The artists involved gave me a lot of energy because they are very protective of their imagery and they don’t want to do things they don’t believe in so when they were responsive and excited about it, it gave me a lot of encouragement to move forward because I knew if they were happy, I was on the right path.
Photography: Ethersock Words: Hausofwild

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