AMERICAN HISTORY BY MATTHEW CRAVEN

by Ariadna Zierold

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Matthew Craven challenges the sweeping narratives of American history textbooks, appropriating images of historical figures and sites and defacing or reconfiguring them within new aesthetic compositions. With his surreal mash-ups of historical references composed on antiquated paper, Craven creates his own pared-down symbols and mythologies. In combinations of illustration, collage, and painting, a march of tribal chieftains, Masonic leaders, and American generals and presidents appears in his images, their faces blotted out or colonized by Craven’s trademark geometric patterns.

matthew craven, america, america, history, antique, collage, historical, mythologies, symbols, patterns, ambiguous, upper playground

Many of Craven’s images are ambiguous, resisting cohesive narratives or easy interpretation; the artist has said that his compositions are not dictated by any political agenda but are based solely on aesthetic consideration.

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PSYCHOLOGICAL AURAS BY MAURIZIO ANZERI

by Ariadna Zierold

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London based Maurizio Anzeri makes his portraits by sewing directly into found vintage photographs. His embroidered patterns garnish the figures like elaborate costumes, but also suggest a psychological aura, as if revealing the person’s thoughts or feelings. The antique appearance of the photographs is often at odds with the sharp lines and silky shimmer of the threads. The combined media gives the effect of a dimension where history and future converge. Anzeri’s delicately stitched veil recasts the figure with an uncomfortable modesty, overlaying a past generation’s cross-cultural anxieties with an allusion to our own.

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