Artists' Rags

I have been gathering artists’ rags since 2004. I remove them from their original studio context and photograph them one by one on a white background. I capture each in a simple setting, enhancing their individual specificities. Rediscovered through the photographic process, the rag can be apprehended in a new light.

I find artists’ rags fascinating in their diversity and richness. They are as varied as art practices and artists’ personalities are. Artists’ rags are made out of the ‘unwanted’ — the left overs when the art piece is created. We can feel the close link they have with the art piece itself  and with the physicality of the artist’s work.

The rags I am showing have been offered to me by artists I met through my practice and life in general. I have — at the time of writing — rags from over 100 artists from about 20 different nationalities. They are from famous and unknown artists alike, from artists of different age groups, influences and schools. And they are from artists who use very different media; photographers, painters, ceramicists, sculptors, installation artists, filmmakers...The rags are made out of fabric, or paper, or any other material found in the studio while making art. They are all very different and they represent a sort of imprint or testimony of the artist's work.

Technically, each rag is photographed hung on the same nail on my white studio wall. It is always at the same place, lit with natural light. The frame covers a 30X40 inches predefined portion of the wall and the rag has to fit in it. I play with the rag and shape or sculpt it according to its specificity. As the frame is always 30X40 inch large, the 30X40 inch print has a 1:1 ratio. It is life-size.

— Anne Leigniel

Editor's note: We first discovered Anne Leigniel's work at Unseen Photo Fair 2013 in Amsterdam, where her work was presented by Laura A Noble Gallery.