Designer Finds Inspiration Everywhere

John Mahoney’s Art Could Hang In Your Home

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Frank Miller’s considered one of the greatest graphic artists and writers in history. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns belongs in every home.

AB: Do you always – you’ve always considered yourself an artist, right?

JM: Yeah, pretty much from an early age.

AB: And did you start with floor coverings and then –

JM: Gosh, I’ve worked in so many different media throughout the years and the line between art, design and craft has always been very fluid for me. I love drawing, I love construction projects, I love doing collage. I’ve done it all, but I’ve always loved textiles, so when I began producing this carpet collection a few years ago, it felt a little bit like coming home.

AB: What is so attractive about textiles to you?

JM: I love color. The color that you can get in silk and wool, I think they’re almost more beautiful than the ones you can get in oil or pigment. For me, textiles have a wonderful combination of two-dimensionality and three-dimensionality. My sensibility is very flat and graphic, yet it comes with a strong structural element, as well. There’s a really strong textural element that I love in carpets and fabrics, but it also brings out the best of my own sensibilities.

AB: How did you make the transition to wall coverings?

JM: For many years I was showing in galleries in New York and for a couple shows I was doing paintings directly on the wall. Instead of getting a really large canvas, I was just painting on the wall and those turned into murals. I’ve always been very into pattern and repetition and decoration. When I met [Studio Printworks founder] Dennis Shah, it was almost a perfect match. I had been using stencils to create a lot of my murals, so I understood the whole concept of ground and figure. It’s just a very easy transition…