Ok, so we’re never going to look at the humble yoga mat the same ever again thanks to Baltimore-based artist Alex Ebstein. Using the PVC mats as her medium, Alex overlaps the world of art and sport with her abstract yoga mat ‘paintings’, playing on the palettes and materials of the fitness world. Anyone who has been to a yoga class before is familiar with the look and feel of the mats beneath the hands and body. When we look at Alex’s work we can’t help but feel the rubbery, grid-like texture on our own hands. We can almost feel the sweat droplets forming at the top of our foreheads too!
Alex was a painter with a yoga routine when a medical condition with her eyes started interfering with her fitness practice. One night she awoke from a dream wherein she was cutting yoga mats and creating colourful paintings. There was only one thing to do — order some mats wholesale and start slicing and dicing the very next day!
Alex creates her compositions by cutting the mats, and placing the organic elements within each other, creating beautiful abstractions. She isolates a gesture or feeling and simplifies it into a series of shapes, creating her inlaid compositions and presenting them like a painting - framed on a wall in a gallery space. Alex uses the limited colour palette of the mats available as a challenge and strength, creating unexpected, joyous colour combinations that push beyond a regular sense of colour.
We’re really charmed by the combination of unconventional material and the mysterious, cheerful mood that her paintings posses. They give us serious abstract modernist vibes, celebrating the spirit and influence of Jean Arp and Henri Matisse, all while redefining an every day object in an inspiringly unexpected way.
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