Courtesy Francesco Vezzoli, photo by Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty Images
Francesco Vezzoli (Italian, b.1971) is a conceptual artist and filmmaker. He studied at Central Saint Martin’s School of Art in London from 1992 to 1995. Vezzoli works in various media, including embroidery and video. His embroidery projects focus on pop culture and his love of film. These projects include altering portraits of movie stars who worked for famous directors. His major focus, however, is on creating film and video art. His projects often involve creating real or imaginary television productions, such as a pilot episode of a television series that will never be broadcast or trailers for unmade movies.
Three of Vezzoli’s works have been selected for the International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Works that he has shown at this exhibition include Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal’s Caligula, which was designed as a hypothetical remake of the pornographic film I, Caligula by Tinto Brass. The trailer featured Milla Jovovich, Benicio Del Toro, and Courtney Love, among others. The next year, Vezzoli entered a film titled Democrazy, about a mock United States presidential election campaign. Sharon Stone and Bernard-Henri Levy play the candidates in that film. Vezzoli is considered an investigator of the myths of pop culture, and his works often feature pop icons and the stars of both the big and small screen, reminiscent of his influencer, Andy Warhol. In the film series An Embroidered Trilogy, he sought out the Italian film idols of his childhood: Iva Zanicchi, Franca Valeri, and Valentina Cortese. More recently, Lady Gaga joined him in an art performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, CA.
Vezzoli’s work has been shown in exhibitions around the world, including at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the National Gallery of Jeu de Paume in Paris. He currently resides in Milan, Italy.