Mark Mothersbaugh’s rug series began in 1994 after the artist designed an entry mat for his studio, Mutato Muzika. Though his original intention was only to make one work, he expanded the project, and it rapidly grew into one of his most fruitful series. The works, which originate from images on his postcards, have been produced in numerous sizes, ranging from twenty by twenty
inches to nine by thirteen and a half feet. The versatility and functionality of rugs demonstrates Mothersbaugh’s interest in nontraditional art forms— specifically those that are associated with consumer culture. As he explained in a pamphlet that accompanied the exhibition Rugs During Wartime and Peacetime (Scion Space, 2007), “I liked the idea that you had functionality with rugs that you missed with framed art pieces. They are much more pleasant
to lie on, walk on, play on than pieces of paper.”
In the rug and animation installation realized for the first time in Myopia, eighteen colorful, cartooned carpets are paired with matching animations. The animations, which are each about fifteen minutes long, shift with subtle movements next to their stationary textile counterparts until, suddenly, they burst briefly into action. After a few minutes of quiet blinking, a wigged dog loses its hairpiece and wiggles it back between its ears. Meanwhile, a stocky mafioso who had been quietly chewing his cigar chomps it up and spits it back out, only to return to his inconspicuous chewing.
Viewers who experience this work are completely surrounded by it,
with rug/animation pairs facing them in every direction. The immersive, dynamic setting takes them inside Mothersbaugh’s imagination—into the kind of environment Wes Anderson, in the foreword to this volume, refers to as
a “Magic Kingdom.”