Erin M. Riley's woven nudes take it there and beyond
In the age of the Instagram-filtered selfie, artist Erin M. Riley aims to provide a new lens on the trending phenomenon–by reproducing said images as loom-woven tapestries. After happening upon weaving while in art school, Riley cultivated a style all her own in an underpopulated medium. Erin has explained the subject matter of her work as the kind of images you might see through Snapchat, or the type you might delete after a hookup. In a recent interview with Arrested Motion she explains, “I try to take pictures of the condoms after I have sex, the pictures I send to people, pictures of tables at parties, substances and liquids that change the course of events.” Riley notes that the act of weaving allows for moments to become permanent, when they might otherwise be disregarded or shamefully deleted.
Arguably the most intriguing element of Riley’s work is the contrast between subject and medium. While tapestry weavings tend to be associated more with blankets, rugs, and grandmas, Riley allows for these associations to compound meaning in her work. “Tapestry allows images to be given more time, for hookups to gel, for mistakes to be thought over, it’s a way to over-analyze every detail.” And she’s absolutely right. Looking over her work, it’s hard not to become entranced when considering the time she had to have dedicated to every stitch, hunched over a loom to produce a crotch shot or a Hello Kitty glass pipe. With these pieces the Philly-based artist effortlessly opens up the opportunity for dense and meaningful dialogue surrounding the provocative content of her work. Or you can just sit back in awe or giggle. Either way, these tapestries are worth a look. Check out some of her pieces below or check here for her full collection.