Maurizio Anzeri, Nicola, 2011
Working over old postcards and studio portraits is so common it’s almost become a new genre. There’s the example of Tom Butler who draws on the faces in old family portraits in a Dada vein. And the Welsh artist Tim Davies who erased postcards of bridges to make made a comment on connection and communication. These interventions combine the found object with manual and craft traditions.
A further example of this is Maurizio Anzeri who embroiders vintage studio portraits. These strange designs look almost like New Guinea masks.
I put tracing paper over the photo and draw on the face until it develops. Sometimes the image comes straight away, suggested by a detail on a dress or in the background, but with the majority of them I spend a lot of time drawing. Once the drawing is done, I pierce the photo with a set of needle-like tools I invented and take the paper away; the holes are obsessively paced at the same distance to convey an idea of geometry.
Maurizio Anzeri, Edith 2011