This Woman Is Redefining Textile Art For The Snapchat Generation

Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
It's not every day that a writer gets to work textile weaving and banned boobs into the same piece — though it's not for a lack of trying. But, that's because we don't encounter artists like Erin Riley every day.

Working exclusively from photographs sourced from social media, Riley creates woven portraits of young women exposing themselves in a distinctive fashion that's familiar to anyone with a cell phone and a pulse. "Instagram is my favorite," says Riley. "It is the most accessible and to-the-point. I have been able to connect with so many amazing people [through it] and it allows my work and process to be seen by people from around the world."

Click through to find out more about Riley's distinctive style, her passion for her craft, and — what else? — porn.
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Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
How long have you been weaving? What got you started?
"I started weaving in 2004. I was in the beginning stages of art school, trying to decide between painting and fashion design. Fibers and weaving fell into my lap, and it was something that just felt right. I learned a lot in my first class and stuck with it."
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Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
Why tapestries?
"I connected [with weaving] immediately. It's something that challenges you every day and allows for growth. Tapestries are historically only accessible to the upper class, and I always found it cool to be able to make tapestries for regular people. I spend so much time with my pieces that I almost have flashbacks when I look at them."
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Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
How do you feel about sexting?
"Hmmm...I feel like that is a trick question. It's rad! Sex is rad, so talking about sex has got to be rad, too. I much prefer #IRL, but sexting does the trick in long-distance situations...or when you're bored of porn."
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Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
Speaking of porn, what is your perspective on it? Would you call the images you work from "pornographic"?
"I consume porn, but it has yet to be reflected in my work. The images I work with are not pornographic."
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Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
Do you feel that social media is enabling women to have better control over their sex lives?
"I think that young people are way smarter about how they use the Internet than ever before, so in many ways it's better that they experiment with their image online. The whole concept of being 'Internet famous' from posting scantily clad selfies is weird to me, but it also [gives women] power."
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Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
What do you think of Kim Kardashian?
"Kim is bizarre, but I am happy that she has allowed for mainstream culture to see women of different sizes and cultures as sexy. As someone who grew up alienated by blonde, skinny girls, it's awesome to see someone who is curvy and has different features supported as sexy. I also am super-jealous of how close she is with her sisters."
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Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
How do you feel about banned boobs on Instagram?
"IT'S SO LAME! I have been waiting for my woven nipples to be flagged, but I think my viewership knows my work well enough to not flag. It's quite bizarre that dudes can post themselves topless and women can't."
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Photo: Via @ErinMRiley.
Who would you love to find out owns one of your works, and why?
"Rihanna. It would be cool to know she has one of my pieces. My work is so personal to me that to have it living with her would kind of be weird — in a good way. I love all my collectors because they are the reason I am able to do what I do every day. It is so amazing, some of the people who have supported my work over the years. I am very lucky."
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