The Rug Company has recently collaborated with London-based, Venezuelan artist Jaime Gili, to create two new designs that stem from his painting process. We went to his London Studio to talk to him about his approach towards creation, colour, craftsmanship and why art should be integral to the design of any home.
Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, during the 80s, he then moved to London where he trained at The Royal College of Art. Gili’s compositions are influenced by the sharp geometric angles of 20th century architecture, and celebrate the optimism of early and Mid-Century Modernism, Vorticism and Futurism, all of which are visible influences in his large-scale works.
He has an optimistic and rebellious approach to colour which takes stock of his South American roots. The almost graffiti-like rendering in his work is reminiscent of muralism, a reference to his appreciation of public art that he experienced growing up, in buildings such as those belonging to the Central University of Caracas.
Both designs are derived from original works, which were simplified and refined in order to be translated into rug form. Citing Venezuelan Modernist architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva as an influence, he believes that art should be embedded into the architecture of a building, as such he is often approached by collectors to design murals and floor coverings. His holistic approach to art and design makes him a natural collaborator for interiors.
Rai embodies the euphoria of his work, with brightly coloured geometric shapes which explode across its wool plane in a series of shards. Alma harks back to his original monochrome experiments from his college years, pulsing with energy, it is a bold composition of angular forms, charged with dynamism and emotion. The design was named ‘Alma,’ meaning soul in Spanish, after an Amerindian myth in which the souls of the dead become stars.