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Maurizio Anzeri's MakeUp

In this group exhibition, the artist showcases his embroidered vintage photographs, telling stories from the past

Opening at the A Palazzo Gallery in Brescia, Italy, this Thursday (15 December), the ‘MakeUp’ exhibition plays with both our quest for ideal beauty and drive to constantly change, retouch and customize things that already exist. Featured is work from a selection of artists including; Maurizio Anzeri, John Bock, Dr. Lakra, Lothar Hempel, Jamie Isenstein, Alan Reid, Markus Schinwald, John Stezaker, Sue Tompkins, Ryan Trecartin, Vedovamazzei and Francesco Vezzoli with the show being curated by Mariuccia Casadio. The 12 artists are showing unseen 2D and 3D portraits in which they have transformed and altered the aesthetics of a range of images of models and icons.

Ahead of the expo we speak to artist Maurizio Anzeri, a long-time collaborator with Dazed who recently worked with menswear editor Robbie Spencer on a fashion feature. Anzeri has developed a distinctive style of embroidering directly onto vintage photographs blending the past with future. And the multi-coloured embellishments somehow feeling as though they are visualizing the subject’s thoughts in the image through geometric patterns. Often Anzeri uses his alterations to convey a narrative, either already present in the image because of it’s history or alluding to a story he’s created. It’s these touches that make his works more than just changing an image, as there’s consideration in each piece of embroidery he places on the photograph. Here Anzeri explains what we he's presenting at the exhibitio and how he views the concept of 'ideal beauty'.

Dazed Digital: What kind of work will you be exhibiting at the show? What images are you using?
Maurizio Anzeri: Portraits from the past, photos and oil paintings re-worked using threads in different ways.

DD: What’s your process when creating a piece of work? What inspires you?
Maurizio Anzeri:
Drawings are the base of most of my work, inspiration comes from many, many places and moments: a song, a book, a walk and more! 

DD: Where does this style of embroidering photographs derive from? What made you first want to embroider images? Where did you learn the skill?
Maurizio Anzeri
: The constant fascination with faces and the passion for transformation is the starting point. I see embroidery as the best way I know to draw and started to experiment with it without knowing where it was going to take me.

DD: Why do you think there’s a growing eagerness to reconfigure or customize?
Maurizio Anzeri:
Because we are constantly changing and transforming ourselves.

DD: Do you think there’s such a thing as ‘ideal beauty’?
Maurizio Anzeri:
'Beauty' is always present, it is the 'ideal' that is constantly changing. 

DD: What are working on in the New Year?
Maurizio Anzeri:
I am preparing for a solo show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in 2012, a new project in 2012 with Mariuccia Casadio Italian VOGUE and a collaboration with a GREAT musician/visionaries of our time!

'MakeUp', 15 December 2011- 11 March 2012, A Palazzo Gallery, Palazzo Cigola, Piazza Tebaldo Brusato 35, 25121, Brescia, Italy