There’s nothing traditional about Brooklyn based artist Erin M. Riley’s woven tapestries. Through created on a loom using traditional techniques, her work features explicit in-your-face imagery that is beautiful and at times difficult to look at. Covered here on our blog and in Hi-Fructose Vol. 36, her tapestries take a screenshot of modern life, especially that of women, focusing on difficult images of drug addition, sex acts, violence, trauma, based on what she finds online and in her personal life.
Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco is currently showing a wide variety of new works from international artists with their “Summer Group Show”. As with FWMOA’s “Invisible College” exhibition, previewed earlier, the show packs in countless styles and mediums from familiar rising stars in New Contemporary. This includes artists appearing in our current issue like Erin M. Riley, Erik Jones (HF Vol. 27 cover artist), Brett Amory (HF Vol. 20), Jessica Hess (HF Vol. 21), Nychos (HF Vol. 28), Shawn Huckins (HF Vol. 32), Tracey Snelling (HF Vol. 35), and more.
When you hear the word “tapestry”, you might think of classical, lavish pastoral images dotted with decorative designs. Erin M. Riley is an artist who brings the medium into a new Contemporary context with her insightful portrayals of modern women. Her previous solo exhibition, “Something Previous” (featured here) borrowed inspiration from the internet. In a world where we can share our every thought and most intimate moments, we tend to lose our sense of boundaries. This is a concept that continues to intrigue Riley, which she extends into her current show “Darkness Lies Ahead” at Joshua Liner Gallery in New York.
Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia is planning a group show that they envision as an antidote to our image-saturated culture, where we consume visual information so rapidly it all starts to become noise. “Scenic Route” will be on view March 27 through May 16 and features innovative takes on landscapes from Erin M. Riley (whose last solo show we featured recently here), Alex Eckman-Lawn, Amze Emmons, and Jason Andrew Turner.
The selfie and the woven tapestry are just about as disparate as two media can get. While the former is snapped quickly and effortlessly to join a stream of endless images, the latter is created through a painstaking process that beckons a more thoughtful viewing than mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. Erin M. Riley subverts our image consumption habits — and the hierarchy of types of images in general — with her hand-woven tapestries, which she bases on selfies of anonymous women found on the internet. Riley culls her source imagery from social media, taking throwaway, low-res photos and cementing them into handmade, physical objects with a much longer lifespan. The artist will present her latest body of work, “Something Precious,” at Soze Gallery in Los Angeles in February 21.
While the Internet has often been pitted against traditional media by artists and journalists alike, Guerrero Gallery’s current side-by-side solo shows featuring Hilary Pecis and Erin M. Riley transform ephemeral online images into tactile artworks that reflect the changing ways of consuming and storing visual information. Riley’s “Forgotten in a File” is a collection of webcam vanity shots reconfigured as handwoven tapestries.