I love the idea of the recent Museum of Art and Design show, "The Artist As Jeweler," because I love art…and I looooove jewelry. But more than being able to indulge in my obsession for bracelets, the exhibition really shows that artists are designers at heart.
|Pendant of an abstract face
by Roy Lichtenstein. Courtesy
of the Museum of Arts and Design.
The roster of artists whose jewelry was in the show is a little mindboggling, from Dali, Man Ray, Picasso, Braque, Max Ernst, Jasper Johns, and Rauschenberg to Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor. And what is funny is that none of these artists are really known for their jewelry-making at all, and yet their signature and unique artistic sensibilities are apparent in each of the pieces of jewelry they designed.
|Pablo Picasso pendant, Le gran Faune, 1973.
(Photoby Sherry Griffin. Courtesy of the
Museum of Arts and Design.)
But that is no surprise, I guess. To be an artist the way Picasso or Lichtenstein was, an innate sensibility is always going to pour out no matter what they are doing, whether creating a painting, pencil sketching, or designing a brooch for a close friend.
And more interesting to me is that these artists obviously sought out this kind of outlet, a departure from what they were doing in their studio practices. I wonder about the breakthroughs Max Ernst made as he worked on his jewelry design. Or what new ideas Jasper Johns thought of as he created his piece.
|Alexander Calder necklace, 1935.
(Photo by Sherry Griffin. Courtesy of
the Museum of Arts and Design.)
That jewelry-making could be a gateway for these artists as yet another form of self-expression is inspiring. It reinforces the idea that art is an outlet for creativity, and not the other way around. We can indulge our creativity through so many different avenues of artistic pursuit, including jewelry.
If you want to read more about the Museum of Art and Design's exhibition and see how jewelry making might open up new doors in your art, consider a subscription to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. In every issue I've seen it shows you how to take a design idea from sketch all the way through the fabrication process to an awesome final product–your own wearable art! Enjoy!