El Espartano

Macchi and El Espartano at San Gimignano


The rug developed by Argentine artist Jorge Macchi in collaboration with El Espartano is now on exhibition at the Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy.

The picturesque Italian town of San Gimignano rises above a hill in Tuscany to the south of Florence, with its historic murals and towers unspoilt. At the same time, it’s the unusual home of a renown international contemporary art gallery named Galleria Continua, which from October 2018 to January 2019, the gallery will house the work of Argentine artist Jorge Macchi.


His exhibition, titled “Puntos de Suspensión” (Points of Suspension), consists of pieces that blend references to cinema, literature, music, and art history; it pushes the boundaries, in order to merge art with objects of reality. Featured at the Night of the Museums in Buenos Aires, this work was originally created as a site-specific installation for the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes within the framework of a retrospective exhibition in 2016. The centerpiece of the work is a rug — developed by Macchi and El Espartano — where four spotlights have “fallen” and yet seem to cast light on the red and black patterns of the rug. It highlights the contradiction between the past and the present, as well as seeks to reflect on the notion of linearity. The edges of these patterned circles of light fade into the absence of color that makes up the rest of the rug, which is flat and restrained in contrast.


This challenging project was made possible through El Espartano. Working with Macchi, they developed a weaving technique that would allow the desired images to have an illusion effect that simulates the play of light and shadow with a gradual color gradation. Extensive research and testing was involved in order to achieve the fade effect, in addition to working with natural wool in the sharp reds and blacks that make up the design. A sophisticated digital weaving system was used that allowed the combination of up to twenty colors.


The artist, who collaborated with El Espartano on an earlier work in Bogotá, is fascinated by the creative possibilities that this technique allows: “This project has inspired me to keep working with this medium, in order to make the design more intricate and incorporate even more colors”.