March 23, 2010

Rebecca Levi: Dirty Lines

Bad Romance - Detail
Stitched by badecca

Rebecca Levi (badecca) has a solo embroidery show this weekend (March 27-28) called "Dirty Lines" in Brooklyn.

Bad Romance - Inset

Rebecca, tell us a little bit about yourself, your methods, and your show:

I know a lot of folks on here from the embroidery Flickr and blogging communities. I'm going to be showing a 10-year retrospective of my artwork this weekend (March 27-March 28) in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It's going to be the first time I've had my embroidery work in a gallery, and I'm really excited to debut it! My dream is to connect with other people in the NYC embroidery community at this little show.

Like many folks on Feeling Stitchy, I enjoy embroidering unusual and unexpected subject matter. This collection of work was inspired by found images and ephemera that I've culled from flea markets, vintage male physique magazines, erotic trading cards, old LIFE articles, and other sources.

I typically hand draw the image on water color paper, then scan and play with the size, and then trace it on fabric prior to embroidering it (here's an example of the drawing before and the stitching after). I used to display these pieces strictly on pillows, which are such perfect, manageable canvases.

For this show, I've framed a lot of my more complex pieces into large 20"x20" wall hangings. I used this technique that I found on Needle'n Thread, where you sort of sew a corset in the back of the frame. I must say, I'm pretty thrilled to get off the work off of the couch and on to the wall.

I'm particularly excited to show my new series "Bad Romance" (yes, named after the Lady Gaga song), based on 1950s romance comics. These were a lot of fun, and I plan to do more multi-panel comix-inspired work in the future.

Please note that this show features adult content - but we're all adults, right?

Thanks, Rebecca! I can't wait to see her embroidery in person, isn't the color and texture in her work amazing?

Hi, I'm floresita, editor of Feeling Stitchy. I'm an avid stitcher, knitter, and crafter. You can see more of my stitching on Instagram and my blog. My vintage transfer collection is on Vintage Transfer Finds.

Feel free to email me with any ideas for the blog!


  1. Oh, I wish so much I could go to this! I love that it is a 2-day only 10-year retrospective.

  2. I wonder if Rebecca ever considered Roy Lichtenstein while creating the "Bad Romance" series. While he was almost mocking the feminine in his comic reproductions, the embroidery definitely makes it more endearing. I love how craft can subvert masculine tendencies in artistic productions.

  3. Yet another reason I wish we lived in NYC! Wow! Rebecca's work is utterly amazing.

  4. Amazing work, very inspiring! Love the unusual choice of subject too.

  5. Wow - thank you, Jenny Hart! I'm thrilled to hear from you. Yes, we're working the "pop-up gallery" concept.

    On the one hand - crazy short. On the other hand - I get to sit with the work the whole time, meet everyone who comes, and see their reactions.

  6. I wish I could celebrate with you on Saturday evening - but I will come through on Sunday to view the work in person. All I can say is if it all looks this beautiful online the artwork in person must be amazing! I am really looking forward to it!

  7. Amazing! I'm looking forward to seeing it all in person.

  8. zsawe (that's my son's comment, he's helping me type)

    rebecca, these, like all your art, are beautiful. i love that your subject matter is so different and i always look forward to seeing what you will examine next. i so wish we weren't in california so we could come see this show in person.

  9. Best of luck with the gallery showing Rebecca, wish I could make it. The few pieces displayed here are lovely.

  10. As cool as these images are, I bet they're even better viewed in person. This show is definitely on the A list this weekend.

  11. Fascinating. Never seen work that used a medium that evokes homespun history with such disturbing images. Cool!

  12. That's a very astute observation, Cassandra. Showing that you are trying to convey subversion rather than imitation can be tricky - I'm glad the undercurrent came across. I didn't consciously think of Lichtenstein when creating these, but you are right, he is hard not to consider with this kind of weeping cartoony female character in the forefront.

  13. WOW! Amazing work. I love the modern perspective on an old art form. Have a great show!

    Warm hugs,