Faig Ahmed is an Azerbaijani artist who has exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2007. He is recognized for his conceptual works that combine traditional ornamental stitching with the visual language of carpets to create contemporary sculptural works of art. His pieces transcend old skills and preconceptions by deconstructing customs and stigmas and rebuilding them to create new identities and contexts. The use of stitching highlights the artisanal aspect of rugs, which are known to be traditionally made by hand. Instead of using knots to connect the warp and weft threads, Ahmed uses bright colors and patterns that expand and contract across surfaces to evoke a sense of contemporary art.
His paintings pique the interest of his audience through an unexpected combination of traditional arts with highly contemporary, digitally distorted images that are often in the form of pixelation, three-dimensional shapes, and melting paint that alters the pattern on the rugs. Ahmed uses computers to draw his works and employs complex carpet-weaving methods to print his patterns onto textiles. The artist mixes different media to create an altered reality that questions local traditions by referencing historical works of art and current technological advancements, which are then transformed into contemporary fabric collages that shake the foundations of modern society.
In his 2012 masterpiece “Oiling,” in the Seattle Art Museum’s collection, his hand-woven carpet patterns mold and flow like pigments in a rug melting into a wavy pattern of oil on water.