Last Friday Tiffany Dubin brought together artist Michele Oka Doner, Town and Country editor in chief Stellene Volandes, and art advisor Lorinda Ash for a conversation on artist made jewelry, titled “Sculpture to Wear.” Ilyse Wilpon opened her stunning Southampton garden for a standing-room-only crowd. They listened, took notes, and afterwards tried on selections from an upcoming collection Sotheby’s will show August 3 until August 28th in their Newtown Lane Gallery in East Hampton, including jewelry by Pol Bury, Alexander Calder, Jeff Koons, Anish Kapoor, Claude Lalanne, and Man Ray.
The audience included Sheikha Paula Al-Sabah, Candice Bushnell, Essie de Kwiatkowski, George Farias, Joanna Fisher, Cynthia Frank, Jo Hallingby, Philip Isles, Tracey Jackson, Shahrzad Khayami, Alex Kuczynski, Christopher Mason, Monique Merrill, Richard Mishaan, Wendy Moonan, Francesca Stanfill Nye, Patty Raynes, Amanda Ross, Kara Ross, Jacqueline Schnabel, Lara Shriftman, Peggy Siegal, Lesley Stevens, Madeline Weinrib, Harriet Weintraub, Victoria Wyman, Bettina Zilkha and her sister Donna Zilkha.
What we mean by Art as Jewelry? The works are not made by jewelers and they do not spend most of their time making or designing jewelry. This is important because they are not trained in the field. Therefore, their untrained eye and, often, lack of knowledge in production techniques, does not restrict them from conceiving designs that might elude a classic ‘jeweler.’
The term ‘Art Jeweler’ covers many facets:
1. Most importantly it is handmade, limited, or unique (i.e., not mass produced), and usually gifted by the artist or sold through a gallery.
II. It does not follow the typical route of commercial jewels; artists are not trying to compete with traditional jewelers
III. The thought processes are different, and the end results are most diverse.
IV. The artist, unbounded by the traditional jeweler’s constraints, can challenge the wearer, send a message, and make a statement.
V. Their first goal is not necessarily to enhance the beauty of a gemstone or the wearer.
VI. They, therefore, have freer rein and can challenge the boundaries of design in a way a more commercial designer often cannot.
VII. They can create a work that is more conceptual and may need greater explanation, but once the story unfolds, the message is powerful.
VIII. Like artworks, the jewelry from these authors needs explanation and to be considered alongside the rest of the artist’s work.
More information on the exhibition at www.sothebys.com/en/series/sothebys-east-hampton