Francesco Vezzoli

Francesco Vezzoli, Gioventú Bruciata (Natalie Wood, Santa Catalina Island, California), 2014, inkjet print on canvas with metallic embroidery in star-shaped frame, 54 7/8 × 57 3/4 inches (139.4 × 146.7 cm)


Francesco Vezzoli Listed Exhibitions (Selected) (32 Kb)
Francesco Vezzoli Bibliography (Selected) (176 Kb)

Francesco Vezzoli’s work explores power of contemporary popular culture. By closely emulating formats of various media, such as advertising and film, he addresses ongoing preoccupations with the fundamental ambiguity of truth, the seductive power of language, and the instability of the human persona. These include a trailer for a remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula (2005), starring Vidal himself, Helen Mirren, and Courtney Love; an advertising campaign directed by Roman Polanski for Greed, a fictitious perfume; and elaborate, site-specific performances inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Luigi Pirandello, and Salvador Dalí that have featured superstars like Catherine Deneuve, Cate Blanchett, and Lady Gaga. Though Vezzoli employs a diverse and varying array of media, needlepoint has remained a signature technique from the outset of his career. Initially emulating famous actors who practiced needlepoint on and off-screen—from Vincente Minelli to Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, and Greta Garbo—as time went on, it became a more profound and contemplative activity which he referred to as a world of feelings, crises, obsessions and depressions historically unified with the craft.

Francesco Vezzoli (b. 1971, Brescia, Italy) studied at the Central St. Martin's School of Art in London and currently lives and works in Milan. His work has been exhibited at many institutions including: “The Films of Francesco Vezzoli,” The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2002); Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin (2002); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2004 & 2005); Museu Serralves, Porto (2005); Le Consortium, Dijon (2006); “Francesco Vezzoli: Right You Are If You Think You Are,” The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, “Marlene Redux: A True Hollywood Story (Part One),” Tate Modern, London (2006); “Dalí Dalí Featuring Francesco Vezzoli,” Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2009–10); “Marlene Redux: A True Hollywood Story!” Kunsthalle Wien (2009); The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow (2010); “Museum of Crying Women,” Qatar Museums Authority, Doha; “The Trinity: Galleria Vezzoli,” MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2013); and “The Trinity: Cinema Vezzoli,” MOCA, Los Angeles (2014). Past performances include “Right You Are (If You Think You Are),” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2007) and “Ballets Russes Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again),” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009).

Vezzoli currently lives and works in Milan.