Karola Pezarro Conjures Hidden Thoughts and Emotions Through Gauzy Embroidered Portraits

Karola Pezarro Conjures Hidden Thoughts and Emotions Through Gauzy Embroidered | RetinaComics

Detail of “Mutual Secrets,” embroidered drawing, 153 x 270 x 2 centimeters. All images © Karola Pezarro, shared with permission

Through gossamer embroidered portraits, Karola Pezarro visualizes entangled webs of emotions and thoughts. The artist works on a sewing machine to render figures with myriad preoccupations that swell and trail in colorful forms, arising from their bodies as hats, blooms, and even faces. Pezarro feels a sense of remove from the characters in her works, which she considers almost autonomous, as if they emerged from thread of their own accord.

Often interacting and congregating in groups that sprawl across gallery walls, the figures conjure memories that overlap and entwine. The artist is interested in the relationship between our inner and outer experiences and the hidden realities, joys, and worries we carry with us as we move through the world. Together, the portraits convey an “awareness of the incomprehensible. They are about a very personal world,” she tells Colossal. “Often several ‘figures’ are put together. This creates a tension in the work, a sense of narrative or atmosphere.”

The woven forms are porous, layering on top of and entangling with each other in delicate compositions. “I love the fragility and stubbornness of thread. Irregularities and imperfections are always present. They are meaningful to me,” the artist says “Where a ‘figure’ first appears in a quick drawing, the slow process of embroidery adds depth and focus.”

Pezarro recently returned to her home in The Hague following a residency in Udaipur, India. Get a glimpse of that trip and find an archive of her work on Instagram.

 

two figures, the left has a colorful sack on its back and reaches for the right, who wear a large blue wrap on their head

“Heart,” embroidered drawing, 120 x 90 x 2 centimeters

a detail image of a figure with a bisected face and blue head wrap

Detail of “Heart,” embroidered drawing, 120 x 90 x 2 centimeters

a detail shot of one figure with a bisected face and checkered garment

Detail of “Mutual Secrets,” embroidered drawing, 153 x 270 x 2 centimeters

five figures made of delicate colorful embroideries are on a wall. some have two heads stacked vertically, others appear to grow flowers, others have sprawling garments

Detail of “Mutual Secrets,” embroidered drawing, 153 x 270 x 2 centimeters

two vibrant portraits made of thread. the left is of a figure with a headdress of colorful spheres. the right is of a regal figure with a wide brimmed hat

“Untitled (the couple),” embroidery drawing, 120 x 90 x 2 centimeters

a detail of an embroidered drawing of a figure with a green circle around their eye

Detail of “Untitled (the couple),” embroidery drawing, 120 x 90 x 2 centimeters

a detail of delicate, vibrant circular embroideries

Detail of “Untitled (the couple),” embroidery drawing, 120 x 90 x 2 centimeters

an embroidered drawing of several figures on a gallery wall

“Mutual Secrets,” embroidered drawing, 153 x 270 x 2 centimeters

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