Sacha Baumann is an artist and designer living and working in Los Angeles.

a letter from Maurizio Vetrugno

Last month I went on a mini gallery crawl in Culver City to catch a few shows before they closed. Openings are fun, social affairs (cheap beer! chicks in cute dresses! dj's! art!), but it's nice to see an installation on a quieter day, spend some quality time viewing the work.

There were many highlights that day: playful Stinkfish and new-to-me Zio Ziegler at Carmichael, beautiful paintings by long time favorite Kevin Appel at Susanne Vielmetter, intense and dense paintings by Adam Caldwell and Bret Amory at Thinkspace, and three different exhibitions at Blum & Poe.

Among the Blum & Poe installations was a small gallery off the courtyard dedicated to artist Maurizio Vetrugno. I was especially taken with his wonderful sculpture "Lead Baloon"–it was a highlight of the day and I said as much in a post a couple of weeks ago.

While I loved the sculpture, the main works of the show, embroidered images of record covers and fashion magazine spreads, did not strike as strong a cord. I said as much in the post. Much to my surpise, a week later my inbox included a letter from Maurizio Vetrugno.

We have since corresponded a few times and Maurizio has agreed to let me publish his letter. Indeed he wants me to:

"Believe me I couldn't be more pleased if you will publish part or all of the letter as you would  gracefully decide, I think I have to thank you once more for giving me the chance to explain the process, that results aside, it is a trip in itself..."

I am very grateful to Maurizio for taking the time to elaborate on his process and correct my ill-researched error. My appreciation of the pieces (and their creators) has grown:

Dear Sacha,

How one can begin a letter to someone who said she/he loves a work of yours? I thank you very much for the attention you gave, I'm flattered by your review of my scupltural work recently showed at Blum and Poe,

Never theless you really have to forgive me If I take the liberties to try to amend some of your judgmenst about the embroideries work.
While I can take creepy and lifeless as totally legittimate point of views of your aestethics regarding my embroidered works, I strongly react about any notion about cheap labor in foreign country on the textile works.

On the contrary they are quite expensive in their making and certainly not in any assembly line sort of work, I do live in South East Asia since more than 15 years and it took me more than 3 years of extensive research to find someone who can translate my ideas into that kind of work. How many of that kind of detailed photo realistic embroideries have you seen around please?

I used to have 2 person working under my direction and they have names. Each works requires about 3 months per minimum and beiieve me nothing is cheap about them, the technique being one of antique Chines heritage in the path of the Song Dynasty embroidered works ( not the Kesi kind of course), a technique who is going to be totally lost in a genereation or two I'm afraid) and that we registered by mutual collaboration ( they never attemot faces for instance.

Incidentally and ironically I have lost contact with them for some complicated reason and not have been able to replace them until now, long research been made in all South East Asia nothwithstanding.

It would be of enourmous help is somebody could help me locate such 'cheap laboratory' since I have the intention to keep on translating images ( both sourced and made by myself) into that technique, my intention is in justaposing them is a sort of continuum flux between found images and freshly made with the silk thread as unifier code-

Please note miine it's not a an attempt to persuading in changin your judgement, on the contrary you will be probably enforced in thinking Much Ado About Nothing neverthess I feel I owe the defense of my aestehics to the heavens.

Have all my kindest

Warmly.

Maurizio Vetrugno

bait and hook

luminously glazed