Artist balances minimalism and technical mastery to develop a unique visual interpretation of Islamic culture.
Jonathan Bréchignac is a director at Joe and Nathan Design Studio who tediously illustrates Islamic prayer carpet patterns using utterly basic tools like pencil, ballpoint pen, and a drawing compass. Each carpet drawing takes about 8 months to complete and presents an alternative artistic method of re-creating the visual impact of carpets that are typically a woven tapestry.
The process is reminiscent of how Tibetan monks make mandalas, which are meticulously drawn with colored grains of sand, and acknowledges the benefits of having a minimalist and painstakingly detailed approach.
Made to fit the size of Muslim prayer carpets, these pieces are drawn only with black BIC pencils. Painstakingly detailed, it explores different ways and patterns to create a unique whole with only a simple tool: the “Less is more” precept. The inspiration comes from different types of art (French roman, traditional Japanese, native American and Mexican) and also military camouflage and animal patterns. Together they create a mix of civilizations and religions bringing forth a new meaning to them.
In the past couple years, Jonathan Bréchignac has developed two series of work that leverage this technique. The first titled The Blue Carpet and other is The Carpets, which integrates QR codes into the carpet drawing that takes users to a simple microsite. The Carpets has entered the private collections of prestigious Middle Eastern collectors including Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al-Qasimi, founder of Sharjah’s Barjeel Art Foundation.