Love, Commas and Asterisks
July 14-August 25, 2012
Opening reception July 14, 2012, 6-8 pm
Blum & Poe and legendary musician Van Dyke Parks present a selection of work by Maurizio Vetrugno, his first one-person exhibition in Los Angeles. Vetrugno’s practice alters everyday objects, such as cloth and tools, into wry commentary on popular culture of a bygone era. Hand-made, embroidered textiles, woven in Laos, depict the distinctive designs of vinyl record sleeves from the 1950s-1980s. The selected album covers reference the legacies of exotica, modernism, glam rock and the golden age of graphic design in music. Fashion has been a continuing influence on Vetrugno’s work, as exemplified in his female portraits woven in monochromatic hues of blue and green. Sources for these works derive from black and white images taken from fashion magazines of the same time period as the album covers. Models such as Twiggy evoke mid-century popular culture and become self-referential in the works -- the cloth “wears” the model. There is a lushness and preciousness to these labor-intensive textiles, whose technique co-opts and contradicts the Pop content.
The exhibition also includes one lacquered sculpture made of recycled, teak wood. Lead Balloon is a boomerang resting on a plinth with the words “I love you” carved in high relief. The subtle joke plays with the contradiction of the function of a weapon with the message of love and serves as an ironic comment on the policy of diminishing returns in post-postmodern times.
Vetrugno was born in 1957 in Turin, Italy and currently lives and works in Turin and Bali, Indonesia. He has had solo exhibitions at Fondazione Merz, Turin and Accademia delle Belle Arti, Turin. Group exhibitions include Questo Mondo E’ Fantastico, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin; Sound and Vision, Palazzo delle Penne, Perugia, Italy; Aperto per lavori in corso, PAC, Milan, Italy; Il racconto del filo: Ricamo e cucito nell’arte contemporanea, MART, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy; and Melting Pot, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy.