Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Inspiration Outside the Ordinary Jewelry Box. By Karen McGovern

I refer to myself as a schizophrenic artist.  I mix medias, rarely make the same thing twice, and flit between style, construction and design like a hummingbird on crack.  I find my taste in art, and artists that inspire me, is pretty much the same.  Everything interests me.  Painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media art, and jewelry design ranging from Tiffany to completely unwearable avante-garde creations.  Inspiration comes in any and all forms.  Today I want to share with you some 3-D artists that are blowing me away right now. 
First is Marina Bychkova of Enchanted Doll.  Art dolls have become an incredibly diverse genre that I have only recently discovered.  To be frank, before stumbling across Marina, I would never have considered “dolls” a source of inspiration or interest for me.  I was never into dolls as a child.  My best friends as a little girl were a semi-feral group of boys that lived across the street from me.  Playing “Barbie” consisted of me stealing my sister’s dolls and acting out elaborate jungle war scenarios with the boy’s GI Joes.  My dad spent more than one occasion fishing out my stolen Barbie from the roof gutters because I had tied a dishtowel to her and flung her toward the roof pretending she was paratrooping.  When I played “Barbie” her best friend was a toy spider monkey figure I had, and she lived in a tent in Africa.  I cut her hair off because it was annoying.  Anyway….
You can see the entire "Surviving" gallery here.
Back to Marina.  Her porcelain dolls are SPECTACULAR. I hesitate to use the word “doll” because that feels too limiting to me.  Her works are sculptural dream sequences brought to three dimensional life.  Her attention to detail is surreal.  Her costumes worthy of any red carpet fantasy fest.  All created completely by hand.  Her creations tell intricate and deeply moving stories, as well as bring to life classic fairy tales and myth.  I first discovered her Princess and the Pea installation.  HOLY CRAP.  Every inch a multi-dimensional, exquisitely rendered work of art.  I can’t fathom the artistic process—SERIOUSLY.  And the way she photographs her creations—perfection.  Each emotes in an unbelievable way.  These dolls are not for children, and some express dark and controversial themes.  “Surviving “, a doll created in honor of breast cancer survivors, nearly brought me to tears.  So beautiful, and at the same time somewhat difficult to look at. Please, please look at every image in the gallery for this doll.  I wanted to post a full photo of it here, but was concerned it may bother some viewers too much.  She is achingly beautiful and so spectacular, yet fully displays the ravages of the disease.  A truly magical expression. For me, this defines true art and artistry.  Please explore her website, and you will see how a jewelry artist can find endless inspiration in her works. 
One of my favorite BCS pieces.
Next, two artists that create amazing works inspired by wildlife.  First, ceramic sculptor Beth Cavender  Stichter.  Her artist statement reads in part: “There are primitive animal instincts lurking in our own depths, waiting for the chance to slide past a conscious moment. The sculptures I create focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms.”  HOOK!  I can’t even begin to explain how humbled I am by her work.  For me, any art/artist that can convey a deeply personal idea or ideal through their art is extraordinary.  Art can often express what words cannot.  Beth’s works do just that and more.  I love the feeling of suspended energy in her works.  Truly exceptional, and you MUST look through her gallery of images.
Work by Ellen Jewett
Second, in a similar but far different vein, take a look at Ellen Jewett.  Her sculptural works are true flights of artistic fancy based on a love for our natural world.  I can proudly say that I own one of her fantastic creations, a custom interpretation of an endangered species I work with every day, the mountain bongo antelope from Kenya.  It’s hard to describe her work.  When I contacted her to commission the bongo, she asked me about where the animal came from, what sort of landscape it lives in and for photos of bongo to work from.  She then created a sculpture that not only captures the majesty of the animal, but also a feeling for the ecosystem in which they live.  Her works carry a biological component that is just AMAZING.  Created from a magic mix of polymer and more, the finished designs are magic in motion, a fantasy world of imagination, often a commentary on the state of wildlife in today's urban world.  I had such a hard time choosing an image to post here.  All of her works are just overwhelmingly gorgeous.  Google her and hit the image button in the search, then be prepared to loose an hour or two.  Take a look at current works available here.
A delightful theatre brooch by Kranitsky & Overstreet
Finally, let’s throw a jewelry designer in the mix, shall we???  Mixed media art and jewelry designers Kranitsky & Overstreet.  A creative collaboration between Robin Kranitzky and Kim Overstreet, these two amazing artists create stunning and intricate designs using found objects, antiquities, and so much more.  Their line of tiny theatre brooches and pendants are breathtaking and I am just BLOWN AWAY every time I see anything they create.  Each a tiny universe unto itself, full of detail and story.  I’m sure you sense a theme here—I love art created with intent.  Created to tell a story or evoke a feeling beyond “that’s pretty”.  I want to get lost in a piece of art.  I want to marvel, wonder and exclaim over it.  I want to share this sort of art with others and see what effect it has on them.  That’s what makes these artists so special.  Their work strikes everyone differently, speaks to each of us almost individually.  What an extraordinary gift to be able to give to the world!!!!
These artists also do something that to me is even more wonderful.  They make me want to become a better artist, learn more, explore more, and become even more fearless in my design choices.  They encourage us to express ourselves in deeper ways, encourage us to reach to the limit to create something singular and extraordinary.  A challenge every artist should not only strive to meet, but joyously embrace.
So, I hope you enjoy these artists and perhaps consider taking a leap in your artistic endeavors.  Go ahead, work outside your comfort zone and see what happens, even if it is just for you and you alone.  I bet the results will be SPECTACULAR!


stacilouise said...

i always love to see the new art you like on your newsfeed. you find the most amazing artists! wonderful post.

Shaiha said...

Oh wow! Some of these are truly incredible. I am especially drawn by the work of Ellen Jewett. Thank you for turning me onto a new (to me) artist.

13 said...

It's always fascinating to see how other artists from different genres have an influence and an inspiration. I kind of like the subversive quality of those dolls, with their pretty faces but graphically real bodies.

Carol Dekle said...

Wow, such amazing artists. The creativity and attention to detail is very inspiring! Thanks Karen for sharing these talented and gifted artists!

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