ERIN M RILEY MAKES WEAVING SEXY

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When we think of fine arts, weaving isn't necessarily the first thing we think of. This is one of the the reasons why the fact that Erin uses wool and cotton in lieu of paint and canvas makes her more than badass. She is ambitious, truly unique, and unafraid. Unashamed of her tough life, she uses her experience as inspiration for creating large woven masterpieces unlike anything you've ever seen. From condoms to slut shaming to Plan B pills, Erin goes there. 
SOCIAL DECAY: How long have you been an artist for?
ERIN M RILEY: I have been surviving off of my work for almost 5 years, but I was struggling for a good 4 years before that.
SD: What is it like to be an artist who's work is being shown across the world from California to the UK?
EMR: Its amazing. But I have never been to Europe or the UK and rarely travel to my exhibitions in the states. I love everyday that I get to wake up and make art but its certainly not easy.

SD: It looks like a lot of your work is based on every-day activities or situations, from mirror selfies to slut shaming. How did you decide that you wanted to make these your subjects?
EMR: I have always been a pretty truthful and blunt person. Life was tough but I wasnt ashamed of that, so to make the best of it I used my life as inspiration for my work. My interactions with people, family, peers online influences my work everyday.
SD: What made you want to make art by hand weaving wool rather than using a more traditional medium like paint?
EMR: I liked the challenge of weaving. I had been painting all through high school and was not getting the depth that I wanted, both visually and physically. Weaving is a struggle, its hard on your body and makes you tired after a long day. I enjoy that.
SD: Some of the pieces you create are of almost taboo subject matter... like condoms, sex toys, and feminine hygiene products.  What sparked this...and were you nervous to release this art?
EMR: I was never nervous. I was getting older, and everyone was having babies and I knew I never wanted them, I felt bummed that sex was only being celebrated when it resulted in a baby. I always enjoyed hooking up with new people just to see what kind of condoms they had, I was always feeling overwhelmed by all the products women have to buy to keep their vaginas healthy, and have always been a huge supporter of sex toys. #1 move to make the orgasm gap smaller is sex toys, so that was all reflected in my artwork.

SD:  How does living in Brooklyn affect your art?
EMR: Being in Brooklyn has been amazing. There are so many incredible artists around to meet and share ideas with. I am also insanely busy all the time but its great to have peers in the same boat as you at all times. Its great.

Where to see Erin's work this coming month... on the East and West Coasts. 
SPRING/BREAK Art Show: COPYPASTE, March 2 - 7, 2016, Skylight at Moynihan Station, New York, NY
Anew: Erin M. Riley & Lucien Shapiro, March 3 - 26, Opening Reception March 3, Hashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CA
 
All images are original photos of Erin's work and are courtesy of her website, erinmriley.com

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