Rahul Kapoor transforms art into artisanal decor with Rex Ray-Inspired rugs

Rahul Kapoor, the co-founder and CEO of Understorey, a Jaipur-based bespoke rugs company, has been on the hop lately. His new range of hand-knotted rugs, inspired by contemporary American painter Rex Ray’s psychedelic works, is to blame.

The licensed recreations capture the eclectic essence of Ray’s graphic sensibilities, encompassing a mix of xerography, woodblock prints and mixed-media techniques that now find their way into the very fabric of the new collection. “These are bold and bright with sharply defined forms and chiselled shapes, with lots of floral patterns and abstract ramblings, topped with a distinct psychedelic flair,” says Kapoor, who believes it’s the pop element in the artist’s work that make the rugs so vibrant.

Labyrinth, a rug with droplet-shaped undulations, flowing from top to bottom, is an example. “Imagine a delicate string of beads strung along a thread… that’s the predominant pattern on this dainty rug soaked in hues of blue, red and black with bursts of white, orange and purple. There is very little negative space, just like Ray’s artworks,” he says. Celestial is conceptualised on a similar line, albeit with fewer elements. The leaves and flowers are abstractly conceived and hang gracefully from popping ropes. There’s also Euphoria, a psychedelic composition that brightens the room immediately, as does Haze, which masterfully brings Ray’s bold interplay of shapes and strokes to life. “But two of my favourites are Elysian and Ethereal. Both unfold against serene backdrops, where the details invite you to experience their fuzzy beauty. Shaped with ravelled knots, the central motifs don bright yellow and orange hues, becoming the focal point of the room,” he says.

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