Erick Medel, 'Globos On 1st', 2022. Polyester thread on denim. 35 in x 45 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Rusha & Co

‘Strings of Desire’ @ Craft Contemporary

February 10, 2023

In an impressive collection of artwork, Craft Contemporary introduces to us an exquisite representation of the use of textured media in their Strings of Desire opening. In no way contesting each other, Erick Medel and Miguel Osuna each introduce us to the wonderful idea of embroidery to fine artwork. Moving past paints to introduce us with not simply color, but a prudential application of meticulousness with their woven fabrics. Yet it is unfair to consider this as simply an extension of apparel.


Indeed, while the origins of these methods may spring from the garment industry, it is in the absence of mercantilism that we can appreciate where the spirit of man begins. Not in the mundane, but in the sacred. That space which is independent of our reliance for food and shelter in a complex civilized world with inherited momentum from generations, sometimes centuries – even millenia of acts. For both artists to introduce us to novel playfulness with a confidence that their motivations are true – for they are permanent – requires such an approbation of good sense in originality.


Where we can happily provide distinction is in the severity of such extensions of creative mind to imbue ourselves with morsels of goodness, of the certainty that our time is not being wasted. That good art accomplishes the banishment of the vanity of existence.


Erick Medel, ‘Globos On 1st’, 2022. Polyester thread on denim. 35 in x 45 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Rusha & Co



Mr. Erick Medel’s Globos on 1st, 2022 is an innocent tour de force. In its symmetry with Pierre-August Renoir’s, Bal du moulin de la Galette, there is a necessary fantastical animation of life – and not in a way which is considerately striving.


‘Bal du moulin de la Galette’. 52″x69″. Renoir. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of Location Musée d’Orsay, Paris


We are so far removed from brute reality – of being in the trades and needing to earn, if not win, bread – that levity is the immediate sensation imposed upon our souls. In the wise choices of colors, we are not sunken with darkness; the contrasts of the ingenius texturing – down to single thread-counts of shaded color – gives us a childhood wonder at the world’s commotion. Yes, it is commotion which is perfectly captured here.


Strings of Desire, installation view, 2023. Courtesy of Craft Contemporary. Photo Ian Byers-Gamber.



Miguel Osuna. 4 Strings Theory, 2022. 59 x 50 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Craft Contemporary Co.


Meanwhile, the distinction from fun toward Soren Kierkegaard’s honest seriousness of spiritual activity is quintessentially demonstrated by Mr. Osuna. Exactness is perfectly represented in each of his embroidered works. 4 String Theory develops a spiral and therefore quasi-circular idea of order, of a patterned agreement of motion with itself. The harmony introduced with this form when placed in the same composition as angularly agreed upon straight lines causes an awestruck sensation from the harmonious rigidity. And it is in this rigidity which is often a nuisance with those who dislike the order of things – especially of the rational designs of man. Mr. Osuna here is in no way comparable to ossified stagnancy. His parabolic curvature further informs us of a certainty to the permanence in his weaving from his craftsmanship. The interesting choice of red portrays a confidence in his testimony to creation. That yes, because he and therefore we can begin to design, we can design for good. And that is a beautiful realization with his demonstration.


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