Embroidery by Pazia Bermudez-Silverman
Words by Somi Jun
Pazia Bermudez-Silverman clutches a silver hoop in her teeth, as she growls bitch, no! at a driver who is threatening to take her parking spot. She sidles her Prius next to the curb in a moment of triumph, removing the hoop (an earring, dislocated in the heat of the moment) from her teeth and ushering us out, out of the car. Over dinner, the four of us talk about the booger on Ted Cruz’s lip during the GOP Debate, the game-changing fifth book of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the life of Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Pazia’s lifestyle, which includes her fashion as well as her artwork, connects the high (political awareness, the avant garde, literary giants) and more common ground (pop culture, road rage, Pikachu accessories galore), showing how there is no meaningful difference between the two in so many modern mediums.
- Zapatistas, especially Zapatista women, use embroidery to document and partially subsidize the movement.
- legacy of embroidery across cultures, from European to Mayan and beyond
- Pazia’s embroidery is a lot more playful than memoriams of revolution, but the portraits and images draw from a legacy of embroidery as a way to remember the vibe of things. It’s interesting to think about taking hours to stitch a portrait when it takes less than 3 seconds to snap a pic with a phone. Photos can capture exactly how an object looks, but by necessity, embroidery has to focus on the outline of an object. You get an outline and a handful of details, a kind of ultra-focused concentration on what something looks or feels like.