Francesco Vezzoli

Brescia, 1971. Lives in Milan

After training at Central St Martins in London, Vezzoli made his debut on the international art scene in the second half of the 1990s. Embroidery, a solitary artisanal practice usually associated with women, played a key role in his art at the time. From needlepoint pictures to portraits of divas with their faces striped with tears, he then progressed to the complex production of videos and performances, working with international stars, exploring mechanisms of communication and power, and tackling difficult subjects such as stardom, religion, sex and politics. His works, in which he often appears as himself, conceal a nostalgic and dramatic component that emphasizes the dichotomy between public and private image, appearance and reality, beauty and decadence. Over recent years his projects have become increasingly focused on history and the system of values that governs our relationship with the past. This has been formalized in his appropriation of classical sculptures or their later copies, manipulated in various ways. His work has been exhibited many times and has featured twice in the Venice Biennale (he exhibited in the Italian Pavilion in 2007), as well as at the Istanbul Biennial and at the Whitney in New York. He has also had solo shows in major international museums, including MoMA PS1, New York, MAXXI, Rome, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and MoCA, Los Angeles.

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