At MAD, Carlos Garaicoa’s Woven Pavements Ponder Who Gets to Walk, Where

THE DAILY PIC: The Cuban artist turns sidewalks into tapestries for the rich.


THE DAILY PIC: Carlos Garaicoa is showing this and other computer-woven rugs in the “New Territories” show of Latin American creativity at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. All of these “floor tapestries” are faithful, almost trompe-l’oeil renderings of pieces of pavement in Havana, the artist’s home town. (The shadows are woven in, too.)  There’s a lovely act of homage involved in translating these patches of humble public space into deluxe textiles, thereby winning them a place in the hallowed halls of a museum. On the other hand, in the context of our second Gilded Age, it’s hard not to think of these fiendishly expensive objects also ending up on the inlaid floors of oligarchs’ mansions. In which case there’s no homage involved, but rather yet another example of the claiming of public space by those with the money to take it away from the rest of us. When oligarchs walk on these rugs, do they imagine grabbing the real estate they represent? And does Garaicoa, raised on egalitarian ideals, hope that we’ll picture them doing just that? (Image courtesy Galeria Continua)

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