Melissa Zexter combines embroidery with photography. She sews by hand directly onto photographs she has taken, combining a traditional practical skill, embroidery with a modern and mass reproducible process, photography. The artist’s fundamental concern is to explore the photograph's material status as three-dimensional object as well as to examine issues of identity, memory and technology. Her interest in the creation of hand-crafted, unique photographic objects is related to the proliferation of images in the modern age, one where images – and specifically photographic images – have lost their own object status altogether. Through their manipulations of the image’s surface with embroidery or the partial removal of the emulsion, the photographs become unique, no-longer reproducible objects. Concerned with the interaction between hand and eye in relation to the photographic image, Zexter's complex works explore memory and personal experience while manipulating the generic qualities of the photographic print.
Zexter was born in Rhode Island and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a BFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from New York University. Zexter has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally including shows at The Triennial Design Museum in Milan, Italy, The Fuller Craft Museum, MA, Robert Mann Gallery, NY and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Her work has been published and reviewed in numerous publications including AfterImage, ELEPHANT, Juxtapoz, The New York Times, The Boston Herald, The New Yorker, Art New England, BUST, and New York Magazine.