What do you do with old portraits? Portraits of people long forgotten. Portraits ready to be thrown in the bin, or filed away in a drawer that will likely not be opened again for a long time. Many people truly enjoy the nostalgia of black and white photographs, even if the subjects are unknown to them. But whence comes the artistic value of the photograph? It would appear that Maurizio Anzeri has found this unique aesthetic and would very much like to share it with us.
Following a study in ink drawing and embroidery, the Italian-born artist began stitching on photographs, using the unique geometry of the figures to direct the outcome of the final product. Symmetry, rhythm, form, function, order, and cacophonyâ€”all hidden behind the familiar lines of the human form. The focus of Anzeri’s photo-sculptures (a term he coined for his pieces) is often solely the face of the subject. Crafting masks with fiber, Anzeri paints a new character on the old portrait, one found burrowed beneath the formality of the camera displaying solely what it can see.
The compositions flow between the bold and the beautiful, highlighting features about each figure. The color choices are often striking, standing out against the monochromatic or sepia tones of recorded light from times forgotten.
Anzeri works now out of London and has been featured in the Saatchi gallery as well as BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and his work has been featured in original commissions for Dazed and Confused.
Should the needle and thread be left to the tailor, or can you stitch emotion into a still frame? Vote below.