Late last year, The Rug Company invited Elena to collaborate on a bespoke rug design. This presented not only the opportunity to work with one of our favorite brands, but on top of that, to design with carte blanche. Naturally, she created a rug truly unlike any other.
Inspired to bring a 3D element to a typically 2D object, Elena designed Undercover using a trompe l’oeil effect – which as it turns out, is *not* easy to achieve with rugs. “Studying many different options is at the root of our practice,” says Elena. “To create the trompe l’oeil effect, we looked at many different approaches, and worked closely with The Rug Company to determine how to best bring our idea to life.” Over many months, the optical illusion effect was refined and perfected, and the final result made its debut at Exhibition The Barn.
Undercover design marries optical illusion with traditional ornamentation, as a floral-patterned rug appears to peel back from the floor at opposing corners. “I wanted to do something a little differently,” says Elena. “We typically see rugs as a purely decorative element, and I wanted to think about them in a more architectural way.”
Echoing the inspiration behind Undercover, the exhibition design recontextualizes form, function, and decoration in the display. Rugs cascade down the wall and onto the floor, putting the artistry and creative vision of the designs in full view. The pièce de résistance, however, may be the “rosé rug bar,” a custom 12-foot-long bar wrapped in striped multicolor runners by Paul Smith, and designed for maximum Hamptons fun. Additional rugs on view, selected by Elena, include a range of creative perspectives with designs by Diane von Furstenberg, Rodarte, Mary Katrantzou, Alexander McQueen, Sarabande, and The Rug Company.
Optic Garden is on view through July 26th. Exhibition The Barn is open to the public every Thursday and Friday, 11am-5pm; visits may be arranged by appointment.