Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leather and Other Art

Angelo Filomeno, an astounding artist working in silk & thread primarily, told me about an artist who’s work I had to see.
I finally got to look her up & it is the artist, who years ago- having seen one tiny, grainy black and white photo of her work, pretty much launched my fascination with all things leather.
… I will never forget that photo, the black leather head encased in leather and spiraling zippers that looked as if they might actually unzip like a peel, fascinated me. For ages, I obsessed over how a 3D piece like that might be made actually functional, without any molding- just the leather and zippers. (I love construction puzzles) I think it really informed my obsession with both leather and Fit. I could’t find images that particular head any where, but here you will find an interview with Nancy Grossman.

Nancy Grossman HeadsThe Third Mind" Palais de Tokyo, Paris

Now I must plug Angelo, he is an artist of the highest caliber. He "paints" (for lack of a better word) with embroidery. The scale and detail of his work is awe inspiring. And if you got a look at the process he goes through to create these incredible tableaux, they become even more incredible. I have never seen a photograph that can do justice to the work. You must see it in person. He was a featured artist in the Venice Biennale this summer, and I was very lucky to get to see the work in progress.

My Love Sings When the Flower is Near, Angelo FilomenoMy Love Sings When the Flower is Near (The Philosopher and the Woman), Angelo Filomeno 2007

For an idea of scale, these skeletons are at least life sized. The canvas is 13 feet high. This is the kind of detail he gets...with an old, completely hand-guided, industrial Singer embroidery machine. If you had any idea the kind of work this entails. Needless to say he does it all himself- no farming out of the work. You must see it in person.

Cold (detail) Angelo Filomeno
Cold (detail) Angelo Filomeno

Here is more of his work. He is represented by Galerie LeLong


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