Is it possible to embroider the facade of a building?
Is it possible to make cross stitch a viral technique in these modern times?
Is it possible to turn sewing into an urban art?
It is, as Raquel Rodrigo
, the Valencian artist who knew what she wanted to do when she heard: "I just fell in love."
A woman said it after spending half an hour contemplating one of her creations.
And her creations are what she herself has coined "architecture", which is nothing more than
"the union of architecture with seam"
, as she herself explains in conversation with EL MUNDO.
Rodrigo, 38 years old and currently living in
after passing through Madrid, comes from the world of design which, according to her own definition, is "art that is endowed with functionality".
It all started with a degree in Fine Arts and studies in interior design and window dressing.
Embroidered exterior facade project.EM
"Window dressing is ultimately marketing and silent sales, but in reality it seemed to me the best way to get art out on the street."
After all, what is it if not the technique of decorating a shop window with creativity.
But the "architecture" came almost by chance, without thinking or looking for it.
In his eagerness to bring art out of interiors, he had the idea of embroidering the facade of a sewing store whose interior design he had designed.
"My idea of window dressing was for what was inside to be breathed outside," says Rodrigo.
Success overwhelmed him.
What she did on the walls was recreate the cross-stitch technique her mother had taught her as a child for entertainment.
That is why there are those who say that theirs is a feminist art.
"I do not seek to vindicate feminism, but it is inevitable to point out that it
brings out of invisibility a feminine art that had never been paid attention to
According to the artist, the cross stitch "has not been taken into account as an artistic technique because it was considered something intimate and typical of the home, that is, of women".
Exterior appearance of a shop with embroidery.EM
Now that he has given a second life (and a veneer of modernity, why not say it) to cross stitch, Rodrigo also claims it as an international technique.
"It's a way of living and sharing a language. In a small town in
, where no one spoke English, it was exciting how we connected thanks to cross stitch."
Not just Russia;
She has been to
... Of course, the inventor of "architecture" insists: "I have not invented anything, I have only taken it to the street."
In fact, his famous embroideries are based above all on the
traditional cross-stitch flowers
Why the flowers?
"I wanted a typical household pattern, and flowers are. That's why they're always my focus, as I wanted something recognizable as traditional embroidery."
Rodrigo and his team -including architects and designers- work with large metal panels that they embroider from a photomontage.
They do it with resistant cotton ropes, although at present they are exploring with threads from recycled plastic.
Detail of the cross stitch with which Raquel Rodrigo works.EM
His is an
, like all urban art.
"I don't care. Working on the street is part of the work: you have to assume that over time the work will end up being damaged or vandalized. The nice thing is that you reach more people, but you expose yourself to one day not East".
Rodrigo is not in the least concerned about working for brands or playing with the
of his works.
Quite the opposite: "I know that many artists are against it, but it is what allows me to live from this."
And in the future?
Rather than looking to the future, I look to the past.
I would go back to the year before the pandemic, which was the best because I was not even 10 days in a row in Valencia.
I went to Milan, Paris, London ... I would return to that. " To that and the flowers from him.
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