EMBROIDERED PORTRAITS BY MELISSA ZEXTER
Melissa Zexter combines hand-stitched embroidery with both color and black and white photography. She uses an older art form, embroidery, refracted through a modern one, photography, to create structured objects that are embodiments of both fragmentation and focused concentration.“The sewn patterns and intricate puzzles are coloured textured drawings, which serve as webs and grids over the photographs, providing another dimension to the images. The sewing creates a filtered experience; much the way emotions and personal history alter everyday perception.”
The sewn patterns and intricate puzzles are colored textured drawings, which serve as webs and grids over the photographs, providing another dimension to the images. The act of sewing onto photographs builds a sense of connection to a particular human experience while creating layers of narrative, texture, and patterned geometry over a flat surface. Her multi-dimensional portraits overflow with a sense of nostalgia and personal resonance.
I really like Melissa’s work – her stitches add an ethereal quality to the pictures and remind me of vintage pictures of ghosts and spirits. The embroidery literally adds a new dimension to the work.
It’s always interesting to see different approaches to the same concept; whereasMichelle Hayworth‘s embroideries blend into the background of her pictures andWayne Lo‘s work reinvents the characters in the pictures, Melissa’s stitching weaves magic into the images, changing the mood and feel of the pieces. I really enjoy these artworks.
She has exhibited throughout the United States including shows at Muriel Guepin Gallery, NYC, Blank Space, NYC, Kenise Barnes Fine Art, New York, Hallspace Gallery in Boston, MA, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Creiger Dane Gallery.Her work has been published and reviewed in numerous publications including AfterImage, ELEPHANT, The New York Times, The Boston Herald, Time Out Chicago, The New Yorker, Art New England, The Village Voice, BUST, and New York Magazine
All images © Melissa Zexter