Rebeca Raney: Fashioning Art

Rebeca Raney creates art that is perhaps simple in form, but that quickly takes the mind and imagination to complex places. Her use of vivid colors and pared-down shapes is deceptively simple, when, actually, it is as deliberately crafted as a song you feel you’ve known forever or a sentence you can’t believe you didn’t once write yourself.

Based in Williamsburg, Raney came to Brooklyn in 2004 for the reasons that many people have “It was the only affordable option at the time, but it ended up being the nicest and most spacious place,” she tells us. But she quickly grew to appreciate living near Marlow & Sons and Mast Brothers because of how all of “North 3rd Street smells like chocolate.” Raney’s Brooklyn inspiration extends past the “foodie people making great art” and into the many Brooklyn clothing shops she visits for inspiration. Raney says, “I am inspired by textiles and fashion. My favorite store is Beacon’s Closet because of the dresses section. There are a lot of fruity colors and patterns and a huge range of decades… it’s easier to touch everything and see how it was made at Beacon’s. In my own practice I do a lot of embroidery so I am especially interested in sewing and researching that type of thing.” This interest in textiles and fashion resulted in a collaboration with Madewell in late 2012 that produced a line of imaginative, pastel-dotted tops and accessories showcasing Raney’s ebullient work. Raney plans to stay in Brooklyn, spending her days “listening to the radio while making drawings” and people-watching, because, she says, “I like the crowds. People watching is always helpful for making art.”

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