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Gioielli in Fermento: Italian Jewelry Turns into Art

The inspiration derives from the Italian countryside and vineyards

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Corrado De Meo (left) wears his own sculpture-brooch creation at the Gioielli in Fermento’s Reinstein/Ross Gallery opening.

Gioielli in Fermento is a leading international jewelry competition that seeks to establish jewelry as a genre of fine art, where the pieces hold value beyond the value of the materials. Selected pieces where exhibited until November 27th at the Ross Gallery in New York.

What if you could collect valuable art and take it with you both from home to new home and out to dinner and drinks? Though jewelers have long been recognized for their creative workmanship, the evaluation of jewelry for its artistic value has gained acknowledgement more recently. The Gioielli in Fermento/Jewels in Ferment, a leading international jewelry competition for jewelry artists, “Offers a glimpse into the creative process and the evolution of the participating artist’s work”, as explained in the event program. The Reinstein/Ross Gallery, on the edge of New York’s Meatpacking district, showcased Gioielli in Fermento sculpture-jewelers. The exhibited pieces’ inspiration derives from Italy, the Italian countryside, and particularly, Italian vineyards. The Gioielli in Fermento exhibition ran from October 20th to November 27th at the Reinstein/Ross Gallery.

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Sculptural necklaces by Viktoria Münzker, inspired by Torre Fornello vineyard.

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Glove jewelry-art by Clara Del Papa and worn by Roth/Reinstein Gallery Director, Bella Neyman.

Gioielli in Fermento presents its annual award at the Torre Fornello vineyard, located in Valtidone on the border between the Emilia, Lombardy and Piedmont regions. Torre Fornello’s beautiful landscape and elegant, tongue-tantalizing wines visibly influence the artists’ wearable pieces. Gioielli Formento’s opening at Reinstein/Ross Gallery displayed both esteemed competitors’ work and a tasting of Torre Fornello wines.

The jewelry artists, and Gioielli in Fermento as a competition, see jewelry as a genre of fine art where the pieces hold value beyond the value of its materials. Though jewelry creators and collectors often recognize its artistry, any given piece’s value traditionally depends on its materials. Jewelry formed in gold or containing precious stones maintains value based on the market value of those materials. Jewelry constructed from copper or paper sells for less money and rarely gains value over time because of the market-based understanding of jewelry.

In looking at the jewelry created by Gioielli in Fermento competitors, however, one can easily imagine many of the pieces as larger sculptures recognized for their creative value by museums or collectors. A brooch by artist Corrado De Meo Could easily be the model for a large-scale installation in a city square. The cage-like hand jewelry created by Clara Del Papa could easily hang in a theater or museum atrium. Yet, these artists choose to showcase their work on individuals who may consequently curate their style with unique art-jewelry pieces.

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Jewelry art by Clara Del Papa

With an evolved perspective on art, where its value can derive from either its materials or artistic conception, jewelry collectors may garner and decorate themselves with pieces that push artistic boundaries. Jewelry artists create pieces that display expression and form over wealth, though their value remains high because of the creative process. In this way, jewelry artists create wearable art that can be interpreted, recognized, and valued in the same way one might regard a work by Damián Ortega or Tara Donovan.

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