BOXES & PAINTINGS
A collector since childhood, I had amassed tiny worlds of items all invoking narrative for me. They swirled in and out of my dreams and desk drawers piling up here and there - always being shuffled and rearranged until one day they began to merge together as if they had their own gravity.
I see now that I have always been a collage artist. It is at the essence of my being. It is how I learn. I am a synthesizer of things. I started by doing this on a small scale and eventually this translated into set design on a large scale and ultimately directing work for our company.
Here is a selection of some of my favorite early pieces:
In 2005, I traveled to Japan, the Czech Republic and Poland. In each of these places I came across vintage prizes and metals. I took photos to document them, came back to New York and thought I would try to recreate them using vintage ribbon and some old metal stampings that I had been collecting for years.
I made two prizes, one for myself and one for friend and architect collaborator Rebecca Yurek. We began to wear them around town and found ourselves getting congratulated as we went out to get the newspaper in the morning or other quotidian activities. It was a simple but powerful feeling. I began to make them for all of my friends. As they spread across the city, people would recognize people as friends of mine if they were both wearing the prize. Conversations would ensue. Eventually I took to awarding them to people that I came in contact with through art and music scenes and friends followed suit, re-awarding them when they came in to contact with some that they were taken by.
I agreed to sell them on one of the first on-line fashion sites at the time being run by my now dearest friend Biba Milioto. Quite quickly, the New York Times Fashion Pulse Section wrote the project/now jewelry line up and several stores around the United States and Europe began to carry them as a proper collection.
Ultimately, it was a performance piece, and the fun for me was the active acknowledgement of people with a simple gift that could be displayed or worn by them. When it became about filling orders, it lost it’s magic and eventually I laid it to rest. Hundreds of prizes were circulated amongst my friend group, listed below are well known recipients between 2006-2009.
I can occasionally be persuaded to make them on commission for an event or a very very special individual.