The Embroidered Image: Stitching Photographs by Hand

Jessica Wohl, White Mask, 2012 © Jessica Wohl, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

Jessica Wohl, White Mask, 2012
© Jessica Wohl, courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

All photographs used with permission from Robert Man Gallery in New York.

The growing dependency on technology and decreasing reliance on our natural-born tools is where photo project The Embroidered Image is born. This is an exhibit curated by Orly Cogan for Robert Mann Gallery in New York City and featuring the handmade works of talented artists who are not unfamiliar to making use of their hands for their craft.

According to the gallery, “The photograph today is increasingly distanced from the handmade. With the proliferation of digitalization, seamless Photoshop retouching, and quick laser printing, pictures now more than ever are a product of the mind and the machine. In tandem, the photograph has become eminently reproducible. Yellowing silver prints and one-shot polaroids, once keepsakes saved in shoe boxes or pinned on walls, have been all but negated by online photo streams and jpegs from our iPhones. Yet a group of intrepid artists are working to reclaim the photograph as a unique and handmade object, through an entirely unexpected medium: embroidery.

In The Embroidered Image, mostly vintage photographs are recycled and reused canvases for stitch art, allowing the needle and thread to convey emotions, evoke atmosphere, or simply create masks over the original subjects. The artists, which inlcude Pinky/MM Bass, Matthew Cox, Orly Cogan, Flore Gardner, and Jessica Wohl, abandon digital tools for the more analog ones, creating surreal images that remind us of what we’ve seemingly forgotten or abandoned.

Like with everything else we have too much of, modern conveniences come with a price that some are not willing to pay. The Embroidered Image is but one proof that there’s a silent and growing backlash in different communities (culinary, art, photographic, …) on our world’s heavy reliance on modern technology, and many are quietly and artfully revolting, reverting back to the basics which forces us to rely on our senses, our creative thinking, and our god-given upper limbs.

See more images from the exhibit after the jump.

Robert Mann Gallery is upcoming exhibit is Free Range, Missouri-based photographer Julie Blackmon’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Free Range will be available for viewing from September 8 to October 18 at 525 West 26th St. in New York. 


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