Joost Elffers


    The pictures that follow, both gorgeous and utterly mundane, are textile designs—patterns made to be printed on fabric and eventually exhibited on people’s persons wherever there’s store-bought cloth. They have an audience, then, as vast as those of such popular image-producing media as television and the movies, which they long predate: the particular designs here may be creations of the cloth-printing industry, but the genres they conform to—dots and medallions, stripes and grids—are untraceably ancient.

    Textile patterns are as widely seen as any images made, but the word “seen” needs to be


    WALKING ON A BEACH, YOU FIND you find a pebble, and some quality it holds, as well as some quality of the day, the light, your own mood, makes you take it home. You may be able to recall those qualities through the pebble. A stranger, though, finding it on your bookshelf, may see nothing more in it than its form or color, or less. For the things of nature, once brought within culture, need attention and care if they are to retain their vitality to be more than nostalgic emblems. Think of the difference between a rock or shell store and the old Wunderkammern, those carefully arranged antique