2017, 44 x 27 inches, hand-knotted silk, 150 knots/inch, edition 20 + 3APs
The attraction to make a rug with Keltie Ferris was immediate and obvious. In digital-age terms, rugs by their very nature have the characteristic of having noticeable pixilation-- and in Ferris gorgeous intense abstract paintings, pixilation and resolution are a central issue. Ferris' body-print based pigmented works on paper, previously exhibited at Mitchell Inness & Nash, are the inspiration for her first rug with BravinLee Editions. Ferris coats her body with oil and presses herself against the paper surface on the floor of her studio. She then sprinkles the paper with pure color pigments. The results are compelling. Resembling a photographic yet fragmented impression of the body, they recall X-rays, Xeroxes or photo-silkcreens. The size of the carpet is meant to evoke a prayer rug or a mystical shroud. In an article in Hyperallergic Keltie Ferris says, “The body prints are as colorful as humanly possible”; that we were able to fully capture that intensity in the dyed woven silk is what makes the rug so amazing and forceful.
"My body prints are made horizontally on the floor, by doing a push-up-like movement onto paper. So it seemed fitting to make a floor rug, something that would stay where the piece was made, the horizontal plane. My work often flirts with the decorative, so I've always wanted to make a carpet, to further examine how my work is decorative, and how it is NOT decorative. I am drawn to Persian carpets, specifically their bilateral symmetry referencing garden design and the body. I thought it would be exciting to see that format literalized as a centralized body on a horizontal plane. It's a body as mapped terrain, a body as a garden, or a body as a tree bearing fruit."
Keltie Ferris was born in Kentucky in 1977 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2006. Recent solo exhibitions include Body Prints and Paintings at the University Art Museum at SUNY Albany, New York (2016); Paintings and Body Prints at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York (2015); Keltie Ferris: Doomsday Boogie at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2014); Body Prints at Chapter NY, New York (2014); and Man Eaters at the Kemper Museum, Kansas City (2009-10). Her works have been included in group exhibitions at institutions, including Saatchi Gallery, London (2014); Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, Texas (2014); The Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (2014); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2012); the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis (2010); and The Kitchen, New York (2009). She was recently awarded the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Painting by the Academy of Arts and Letters.
BravinLee editions is a proud member of GoodWeave
GoodWeave’s founder Kailash Satyarthi was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in honor of his career dedicated to ending the exploitation of children around the world. GoodWeave, an international nonprofit organization geared toward abolishing child labor in the carpet industry, has liberated and educated thousands of children, bringing them from carpet looms to classrooms. Satyarthi and GoodWeave work to guide consumers to its Child Labor Free Certified rugs and replicate their market-based approach of certification in other sectors. Kailash said at the ceremony, “I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom.” He asked those in attendance to place their hands over their hearts and “listen to the child inside.”