Thoughts on the use of detail in the designs of oriental rugs.
One can look at an oriental rug and in some instances instanteously connect with it. Why? What are the elements that drive a rug into that rare place of beauty, and authentic expression? As we strip away its layers of design what is revealed is the core of the rug’s essence and aesthetic power. This core of a rug is animated by the rug’s use of detailed designs in its borders, its medallions or simply as forms floating in its field. They bring life to the rug. Detail as an expression of the creative effort transforms a rug into an object worthy of our visual attention. Without this honesty, a rug is irrelevant and a parody of rug making.
The alternative is a rug that fails on all the levels. Blobs instead of articulation, conventional thinking without caring and commercial concerns dictating a rug’s appearance.
Below are photographs of examples I hope will illustrate some of these points:
1. A detail of an early antique Turkish rug: . Here we encounter rug art. All the elements of this piece are fresh. Every part is meaningful, defined by an attention to even the rug’s smallest color and design details. The profound success of this Anatolian weaving, its connection of designs, its sophisticated investigation of the rug’s space and its positive and negative design relationships, a beautiful natural color palette, all create the foundation for compelling spiritual content.
2. Antique Bachtiari, lovely expressive design and clear drawing. Abandoning conventional Bachtiari design but still working within its tradition
3. Antique Serapi carpet: fine, smooth, articulated drawing, superb drawing
4. Contrast these two rugs: They are both Caucasian prayer rugs. The first one has static and disinterested drawing woven without conviction. The second example has the spirit and belief that is essential to beautiful rugs. See the borders, the prayer nich etc. Great looking.
5. This final Tibetan meditation rug breaks all the rules but is extraordinary in concept, materials and spirit. Rare and I love it.