As you may have noticed, lately I have become increasingly interested in what artists themselves have to say about the world of contemporary jewelry. After all, they are the ones living in it- making work to then send out into the universe to be collected, admired, worn… understood. I have been reading more and more interviews with makers to try and — I will use the word collect — what I call a breathing definition to construct the cosmology of this field. I call it breathing due to the complexity and flexibility of my collection, that does not come without exceptions, different interpretations, and of course, the artists’ ever changing direction and intention. As such, just like any living, breathing thing, it has layers and the ability to adapt, to evolve. And above all, I feel the field very much needs this moment of definition, as there is far too much work out there that falls under the guise of contemporary jewelry without passing through a critical eye. We must attempt to sort it all out and proclaim the characteristics that articulate the very nature of the good work in order to elevate it, give it the attention it deserves, and bring it a wider and more intellectual audience.
The following is the way I see things. I have color-coded each artist in order to sort of map who is doing what kind of work, where (the color indicates where the artist was trained; it may not correspond to their birth country). All of the included are living and working today, yet there are countries that I have not yet mentioned so please forgive. (CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO MAKE THEM LARGER)
This is a work in progress (there is room in the diagram!) so tell me if you disagree or think I need to add things or move them around, or if there are any errors, OR if you know any of the birth years of the artists that I could not find. Also, I have essentially “rounded” to the nearest category when I decided where to place who. THIS WAS DIFFICULT. If you find yourself and feel you were misplaced, please let me know.
AND SPECIAL THANKS TO THE KLIMT02 SITE FOR BEING SUCH AN INCREDIBLE DATABASE