Meeting withMaurizio Vetrugno

  • Brigitte Bardot in atelier. Handmade embroidery on canvas. Photo by Mamo Delpero
Maurizio Vetrugno
  • Brigitte Bardot (detail). Handmade embroidery on canvas. Photo by Mamo Delpero
Maurizio Vetrugno
  • Ossie Clark (detail). Handmade embroidery on canvas. Photo by Mamo Delpero
Maurizio Vetrugno
Maurizio Vetrugno
  • Installation view of handmade embroideries on canvas of Elsa Schiaparelli, Zappa with the Mothers in Drag, Beefheart with the trout mask, Ivy Nicholson portrayed by Louise Dahl Wolfe. Photo by Mamo Delpero
Maurizio Vetrugno
  • Schocking de Schiaparelli. Handmade embroidery on canvas. Photo by Mamo Delpero
Maurizio Vetrugno

Maurizio Vetrugno, artist and writer, lives and works between Turin and Bali. Vetrugno’s art practice alters everyday objects, such as cloth and tools, into wry commentary on popular culture, through assorted media including video, painting and sculpting. Hand-made, embroidered textiles depict the distinctive designs of vinyl record sleeves from the ‘50s - ‘80s. The selected album covers reference the legacies of exotica modernism, glam rock and the golden age of graphic design in music. His sculptures and videos reveal a demystifying approach towards myth making serve as ironic comment about the policy of diminishing returns of Art in post-postmodern times.

- What’s your definition of rebel?

"It’s a good mix. Talent helps, then a natural reaction towards given rules taken for granted, unavoidable are playfulness and a reckless curiosity. What defines a rebel best for me can be clearly seen when compared with the mere transgressive attitude. A rebel rarely is fishing for consensus. Conversely a transgressive character in most cases is a crowd pleaser in disguise. The main focus for a rebel is not raising approvals and whatever the goal not necessarily does he invites you to share his position."

- Who do you consider rebel?

"Thanks God there are a myriad, there is a whole cosmology of inspiring luminaires. Lineage intersections and genealogies of not only rebels, but tricksters, dreamers and visionaries too, without whom our life would be definitely more boring. If I have to mention names, let’s praise the dead first: Captain Beefheart was a good specimen. Nico was a true original too, the often quoted Debord and Vaneigem, Dr. Semmelweiss, Bryon Gysin and Bill Burroughs, Orson Welles, Caravaggio, Antonin Artaud, Coco Chanel, Carmelo Bene, Mae West, these are the first names that come to my mind. People who couldn’t help but thinking out of the box."

- In what you believe?

"In entropy. The trip from Cosmos to Chaos and hopefully back again, soon or later."

- Why man creates?

"In part to give consistence to the illusion of really existing and partly is physiological: it is not so different from dreaming. There is no apparent need for the brain for such a function but the consequences of not doing it are disastrous."

- What's the most rebel thing you've done in your life?

"Leaving psychoanalysis aside, being a pleasure-seeking hedonist, luckily I decided quite early on in my life that the time to have good time is when you are young. It also coincided with a peculiar moment at the dawn of Punk, a pop explosion that was above anything else a revolt in style and about style. So, I must say, my first impulse in a creative sense was to react to the world-as-it-was through clothes. It provided experiments, identity and a road map for fun company. It sounds ludicrous now but there were times that having short hair and a white shirt, not to mention a torn T-shirt meant getting a lot of unwanted attention and hassle from your peers. Now more than ever I think pleasure is almost the only form of rebelliousness left."

Maurizio Vetrugno's works will be presented at "Shit and Die", exhibition produced by Artissima and organized by Maurizio Cattelan, Myriam Ben Salah and Marta Papini at Palazzo Cavour in Torino 6 November 2014 through 11 January 2015.

Maurizio Vetrugno