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Posted on: November 12, 2018

Staff Pick – Duality

From Orley Shabahang’s Animal Collection, ‘Duality‘ puts a modern twist on an age-old motif. This week, Sheeva from our New York gallery discusses why it’s one of her favorite carpets.

Orley Shabahang’s Animal Collection is a stand out series, and the design that stands out most to me is ‘Duality.’ My favorite aspect of this magnificent carpet is its use of color. The bright yellow and orange accents are not typical to Orley Shabahang’s color palettes, but they are used effortlessly in this piece. The pop of color adds dimensionality and life to the carpet even though they are only as wide as a single knot.

Another reason that I am drawn to this collection, and more specifically to this rug, is how seamlessly the inspiration behind its design was executed. The collection was created by our owner and master weaver, Bahram Shabahang. Having come from a long lineage of carpet makers, dealers, and connoisseurs, Shabahang took inspiration from the antique and vintage Ghashghai depictions of animals in their village rugs. The lion, which has held a strong symbology throughout Iranian history, has been reworked and given a more modern look here. The colors are more modern, the mirroring of the two lion heads is a new perspective, and the lack of an embellished border adds to the clean and contemporary linearity of the design as a whole.

Furthermore, the name ‘Duality’ signals to the carpet’s balance and symmetry (in addition to the two lion heads). I love that the design and colors are given the space to pop off of the subtle background without being too distracting. This is because of the symmetry, or “duality,” in the full design that creates a visual harmony and order for its viewer. This is why it is such a versatile rug in its function; its colors lend it to being a standout piece in a space, but the balance and linear quality of the design can help subdue it in the room if that is what is desired.