Mr X Stitch Presents: The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Kathy Halper

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Welcome to the Cutting (& Stitching) Edge! I’m Mr X Stitch and I’ll be your guide to the best in contemporary embroidery. Each week I’ll showcase someone who is rocking the world of embroidery and textiles.

Kathy Halper is an artist from Chicago, Illinois.

As well as painting, Kathy has turned her artistic talents to embroidery with the “Friend Me” series: “My series of embroidered drawings explore teenagers in their private world. The world now available to all online.

The images in this series began as Facebook photos of teens engaged in typical yet sometimes disturbing explorations of sex, alcohol, drugs and celebration. I then randomly paired them with comments found on various networking sites. Originally I was painting these images but once I began embroidering, a passion from my own adolescence, I felt the parental hand of concern and caring much more present.I chose a more traditional structure to acknowledge needlework platitudes such as “Bless This House” from the past while incorporating the iconic “thumbs up” and comment box from today’s Facebook page.

“It is this duality of the past and present, innocence and loss of innocence, privacy and the demise of privacy that fascinates me and drives me to continue exploring this subject.”

I really like Kathy’ work. Her illustrative style of embroidery reminds me of Meagan Ileana and is perfect for this type of work. The combination of the images and the phrases create icons that reflect a zeitgeist of the present era. As we have seen in other cases, embroidery often softens harsh images, and I think this is true of Kathy’s work; as shocking as the images might be, they are eased by the stitched medium.

To enjoy more of Kathy’s work, including her terrific paintings, visit her website.

Mr X Stitch is a manbroiderer, cross stitch designer and runs, the number one contemporary embroidery and needlecraft blog on the planet.

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