The Intimate Human Action of Embroidery by Maurizio Anzeri

The Italian-born, British-based Maurizio Anzeri searches out vintage portraits in flea markets or junk shops, viewing them, he says, “as landscapes on which to map out his own unique geography of suggestion.”  Sombre-looking children and sophisticated adults take on an absurdist aspect. You’ll notice that what was once a portrait is  now something else entirely: a sculptural, diagrammatic artwork in which identity and expression is camouflaged.

I work with sewing, embroidery and drawing to explore the essence of signs in their physical manifestation. I take inspiration from my own personal experience and observation of how, in other cultures, bodies themselves are treated as living graphic symbols. I then use sewing and embroidery in a further attempt to re-signify, and mark the space with a man-made sign, a trace. The intimate human action of embroidery is a ritual of making and reshaping stories and history of these people. I am interested in the relation between intimacy and the outer world. (Source)

I put tracing paper over the photo and draw on the face until it develops. ……When I begin the stitching something else happens, drawing will never do what thread will. (Source)

All photos: (c) Maurizio Anzeri

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