Francesco Vezzoli - Contemporary Art Part I New York Thursday, November 13, 2008 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Giò Marconi, Milan

  • Exhibited

    Porto, Casa de Serralves, Francesco Vezzoli, January 22 - April 10, 2005

  • Catalogue Essay

    The art of Francesco Vezzoli, in the form of complex video productions and embroideries created in petit point, is by definition a study of amorous feelings and impulses. Beginning with his own personal obsessions, the artist constructs works in the form of fragments, which refer to a broader discourse and seek to recompose a world that now seems lost. Vezzoli’s culture is a visual one in an extended sense, and it encompasses auteur cinema, fashion, art history and icons of pop culture. By his own admission, he is an involuntary scholar, a cataloguer of information. Like a collector, who by nature accumulates an aggregate of scattered garments, the artist collects references and quotations. Brought together in each work, these make up a tale imbued with beauty and decadence, fame and sorrow.
    M. Beccaria, Francesco Vezzoli, Castello di Rivoli, 2002, p. 6
    Francesco Vezzoli’s needlepoint work appropriates and indulges in the vast iconography of cinema, fashion, art history and popular culture.The artist’s enthralling, glamorous images evoke an extremely camp, art-film aesthetic that constantly treads the line between high and low brow. HisWarholian penchant for celebrity and fame has taken form of portraits culled from the pages of magazines, studio and film stills of famous actresses, starlets and models. In many of Vezolli’s nostalgic images of a forgotten past, glittering vestiges of tears and blood works, such as the present lot, contain embroidered in metallic thread onto the faces of the personalities the artist admires, which have formerly included Joan Crawford, Romy Schneider, Anna Magnani and Veruschka, to name a few.
    In the present lot, La Devoradora (Evil Woman), the Mexican 1940s actress María Félix glances towards the viewer with a sharp, impish stance. Incandescent tears trickle down the figure’s face, a strangely surreal detail that suffuses the work with a fantastical, imaginary quality.Through Vezzoli’s treatment of the work, the figure’s iconic face acquires an audaciously melodramatic touch.The actresses’ originally immaculate, frozen expression is undercut by the taut thread to create an undertone of melancholy and grief. As Marcella Beccaria proclaims, “Personally embroidering the selected face in petit point, Vezzoli creates a sort of ‘correction’ of the image, which restores a depth of feeling to the surface of the icon” (M. Beccaria, Francesco Vezzoli, Castello di Rivoli, 2002, p. 6).


La Devoradora (Evil Woman)

Color laserprint on canvas with metallic embroidery in artist’s frame.
23 5/8 x 19 ¼ in. (60 x 49 cm).
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

$70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $86,500

Contemporary Art Part I

13 Nov 2008, 7pm
New York