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Why Textile Artist Victoria Manganiello Uses Weaving as a Visual Code

Why Textile Artist Victoria Manganiello Uses Weaving as a Visual Code

Victoria Manganiello considers weaving a form of communication. Her ethereal fabric pieces radiate color and light while referencing computer programming and bar codes. Manganiello is currently producing a documentary film about Women and Textiles and is an instructor at NYU and the Parsons School of the Arts in New York. Her textile-based installations combine hand-spun yarns and hand-mixed dyes with modern materials and techniques, creating conceptual hybrids that lean towards the future while employing methods from the past.

Not Real Art Artist Of The Day Series

Since earning a BFA from Skidmore College and a Masters degree from NYU, Manganiello has participated in group and one-person shows in New York, Taiwan, Austria, and Romania, and had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. She has been an artist in residence in Bulgaria, Kyoto, and Iceland, and will participate in the Australian Tapestry Workshop in 2022. Her experiential weavings blend elements of Abstract Expressionism and behavioral science with centuries-old craft techniques. Focusing on the binary relationships between colors, sexes, ages, and cultures, she incorporates digital coding into the process of textile design.

I am interested in using weaving as code and language and my work seeks to connect common materials like textiles to common behaviors like communication. Conceptually, my work is rooted in the history of technology, borders and the limits those things must reconcile. I use the stories of the past with the mood of the present to create experiential artworks that speculate on the future.

As a woman artist working with textiles, Manganiello has at times felt excluded from the conventional art world. But her innovative approach and singular creative vision earned her a place on Forbes Magazine’s list of ‘30 under 30’ Artists in 2019. With her unique conceptual bent and ability to use the traditional art of weaving to ‘explore the intersections between materiality, technology, geography, and storytelling,’ Manganiello seems well on her way to creating a distinct niche in the fabric of contemporary art.

Table of Contents

Victoria Manganiello — Artist Statement

Victoria Manganiello. Headshot
Victoria Manganiello

The structures I compose are studies of materials and our fundamental relationship to them. I use traditional textile-based media: I spin my own yarn, mix my own color dyes (natural and synthetic) and weave my own constructions. I integrate historical methods alongside surprising technologies and modern alternatives like computer code and fluid dynamics. How do the binaries we impose on ourselves – black/white, young/old, near/far, male/female, native/alien – disseminate into the objects we live with? I use textiles as the most familiar and innately human object to illustrate spectrums as alternatives to binaries. My recent projects incorporate materials from the seemingly extreme natural to the extreme synthetic and I make choices with density, color, and kinetics to demonstrate that binaries are impossible. I use abstraction which I derive from world geography and statistical mapping and my work takes the form of sculptural installation, wall hanging, performance, and social practice.

I am interested in using weaving as code and language and my work seeks to connect common materials like textiles to common behaviors like communication. Conceptually, my work is rooted in the history of technology, borders and the limits those things must reconcile. I use the stories of the past with the mood of the present to create experiential artworks that speculate on the future.

Victoria Manganiello – Grant Submission Work

Victoria Manganiello. Flagged, 2021
Flagged, 2021
Natural and Synthetic Fibers and Dyes
Approx. 25 ft. x 12 ft. x 4 ft.
Victoria Manganiello. Untitled #150, 2021
Untitled #150, 2021
Natural and Synthetic Fibers and Dyes
86 x 86 inches
Victoria Manganiello. Axis, 2018
Axis, 2018
Natural and Synthetic Fibers and Dyes
Approx. 8 ft. x 8 ft. x 4 ft.
Victoria Manganiello. Untitled #114, 2016
Untitled #114, 2016
Natural and Synthetic Fibers and Dyes
146 x 96 inches
Victoria Manganiello. Spectrum, 2019
Spectrum, 2019
Natural and Synthetic Fibers and Dyes
Approx. 14 ft. x 14 ft. x 4 ft

Victoria Manganiello – Artist Bio

Victoria Manganiello is an artist, educator, producer and collaborator. She has received multiple recognized grants, commissions, and residency appointments and exhibited her work internationally including in Taiwan and throughout Europe and the USA. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU and Parson’s, both in New York and the executive producer of an upcoming documentary about Women and Textiles.

Exploring the intersections between materiality, technology, geography, and storytelling, Victoria’s multi-disciplinary and installation work, abstract paintings and kinetic sculptures are made meticulously with and inspired by hand-woven textiles using hand-spun yarn and hand-mixed natural and synthetic color dyes alongside mechanical alternatives and modern technologies.

Victoria on the Web And Social Media

Here’s where to find out more about Victoria Manganiello on the web and social media:

About the Artist of the Day Series

All artworks have been published with permission of the artist. Our "Artist of the Day" series is a regular feature highlighting artworks from the 100's of grant applications we receive. The "Not Real Art Grant" is an annual award designed to empower the careers of contemporary artists, and this is one way we honor all entries we receive. Find out more about the grant program here.

Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis

Kirsten Bengtson-Lykoudis is a writer, photographer, and former New York Gallery Director based in Washington, D.C. She has an M.F.A. in Fine Art and an undergraduate degree in Russian Literature. She speaks five foreign languages and is currently in a Masters of Non-Fiction Writing Program at John Hopkins University.

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