"Rugs For Oprah" at La Fresh Gallery, Madrid

A solo exhibition by Leo Rydell Jost

May 17th - June 1st 2018


Conde de Aranda 5, Madrid

April 17th - June 1st

What are those objects woven in wool that Leo Rydell Jost is presenting us with? Are they carpets that should lie on the floor? Tapestries destined to be admired on a wall? Two-dimensional sculptures? Maybe an extravagant home accessory to enrich a deconstructed look? The artistic artifacts of Rydell Jost are like a luxury escort: they will do what you want them to do.

In 2014 a very young Leo Rydell Jost published an exquisite book of drawings titled Colored Dudes. In it he showed us art work with its own voice, vibrant and uninhibited. A homoerotic ode camouflaged between blocks of vivid colors and subtle lines. In those works we sensed echoes of Cocteau and Warhol but with powerful references to the urgent and amateur porn that anyone can find on Tumblr. Those "colored dudes" were the seed that germinated into a small collection of carpets hand made in Nepal. Using the applied arts as support, Leo returned to reflect on modern masculine sexuality with more than satisfactory results. His uninhibited drawings became carpets of pure wool that anyone could to put in their home, to match the upholstery. The voluptuous and carnal originality of the designs take a step back from the subject to make us meditate on the limits of eroticism and pornography and the role that they plays in our daily life: without realizing it, the sex that we get comfortably from the internet has settled in our landscape, becoming an accessory of our accelerated lives. Like a rug.

In 2018 the artist takes a quantum leap and presents Rugs For Oprah. In this new collection of wool art objects, which we can call carpets, we witness how Rydell Jost, again producing in Nepal, goes beyond the academic limits and dares to deconstruct, cut, tear apart and mold the wool as if he were manipulating another three-dimensional material.

The carpets of homoerotic iconography are still present, but we see that Leo goes further and serves us more abstract pieces, fractal objects using courageous chromatic combinations that play at camouflage, like the topography of a planet lit up with wild colors, while still being elegant and extravagant at the same time. I could imagine any of these rugs in the second part of Avatar or in a mansion in Los Angeles.

If there is only room for rectangular or round carpets in your mind, or for elongated kilims to put in the corridor, do not go to see the new pieces presented by Leo because your head will burst. His carpets come from a polymorphic galaxy without rules where poetry comes together with functionality…., because that’s how they are.

Oprah's Harvest, Melting Cliffs, Colonel's Salad or Fissure On Earth are some of the supercontemporary, evocative and pop names of the pieces that can be found in Rugs For Oprah, presented by the artist and designer Leo Rydell Jost in La Fresh Gallery on May 17 to June 1.

Due to the concepts used by the artist, I am convinced that I will raise a smile from him when I say that his rugs are a display of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent.

Jordi Labanda

Barcelona, ​​May 2018