Italian, b. 1969
Lives and works in London, England
Maurizio Anzeri intricately embroiders onto vintage photographs with colored thread, producing unforgettable, otherworldly portraits and landscapes that are as surreal as they are sublime. In Anzeri’s portraits, serious-looking children, sophisticated adults, and prim newlyweds are all utterly transformed by his threadwork. With each piece, Anzeri’s vivid, precise filigree of embroidery obscures the subjects’ faces, yet these masks seem to amplify something inherent in each sitter, who sometimes nearly disappear beneath the artist’s obsessive process. In Anzeri’s deft hands, what was once a portrait is something else entirely: a formal, sculptural, diagrammatic artwork in which identity and expression are both camouflaged and revealed. As Anzeri has remarked on his uncanny creations, “As long as something creates a reaction, it’s alive.”
Maurizio Anzeri studied sculpture and graphic design at the Camberwell College of Fine Arts (1996–99) and at The Slade School of Fine Art, London (2002–2005) obtaining an MA in Fine Art and Sculpture. Anzeri’s work has been exhibited internationally and recent solo exhibitions include But It Is Not Late, It Is Only Dark, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, UK (2013); and at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2011). Group exhibitions include A Take on Vintage Photography, Siauliai Ausros Museum, Lithuania (2016); The Mapmaker’s Dream, Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Photo London, the Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK; The Needle’s Eye: Contemporary Embroidery, the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway; Secondhand, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco, CA; Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (all 2015); and Body Building, Neumeister Bar-Am, Berlin, Germany; UK Photography Now: The Constructed View, Dong Gang Museum of Photography, Seoul, Korea (all 2013). His work is held in public and private collections around the world including Museum Kunstpalast, Germany; and the Saatchi, Gagosian, Rothschild, and Alexander McQueen collections.