Fresh Talent: An Introduction
Last week I inaugurated a new column called “On the Market.” This week I am doing it again with the introduction of “Fresh Talent”, a column which will focus on emerging designers. This is a new area of interest for me, as I prefer to study the “dead guys”, so I am looking forward to learning about today’s designers who will become part of the canon tomorrow.
About a month ago I attended the Pratt Show 2010’s Reception for Industry Professionals, an event which was a coming-out party of sorts for graduates of Pratt Institute’s various BA and MFA programs. The goal of this annual juried exhibition was to introduce these students to the world of buyers, collectors, gallery owners, and other industry professionals. I even saw Simon Doonan, the Creative Director of Barney’s New York, walking around. The event screamed “these kids got talent, now go scoop them up!” And talent they certainly have. I was overwhelmed by the range of products that I saw: ceramics, glass, clothing, furniture, and loads, and loads, of graphic design. There was even an entire section devoted to interior design and architecture.
Two young women in particular caught my attention. Their work is as sophisticated, if not more so, as what is being shown today in some of the best contemporary art galleries in Chelsea. World, I would like to introduce to you Danielle de Conge and Sarah Story. Because they work is so incredibly different from each other, I wanted to dedicate a blog to both women separately. Check back on Thursday of this week for Sarah Story.
Fresh Talent: Part I
Danielle de Conge creates jewelry out of objects that we dispose-off on a daily basis and never once stop to consider their aesthetic beauty. In her hands bottle caps, toothpicks, glass from broken beer bottles, museum pins, and bandages are all reborn as adornments. I loved playing the guessing game with her, always surprised to discover which object she used to create a beautiful pair of earrings or an elegant necklace. De Conge’s pieces are striking and fresh. Who would have thought that a potato chip would make a great pendant? De Conge casts a half-eaten chip in bronze and hangs it off a copper chain- the outcome is an unrecognizable, yet beautiful and earthly, creation. How about a q-tip bent into the shape or a ring, then cast in bronze, with a chocolate pearl in the middle? I love the texture of each piece and how sculptural they look. All of her pieces have a presence. A bent cuff made of a disposed coffee cup channels armor worn by warriors but you do not need to sacrifice your femininity to wear her jewelry: a cleavage pendant made out of a burned match, with ash, encased in clear resin is another way to let your date know that “you are smokin’ hot!”
Her work is available for sale through her etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/deconge
Potato Chip Necklaces: (bottom left: cast bronze potato chip, copper chain and top right : cast silver potato chip, silver chain); Cleavage Pendant Assortment (cast resin, left: Grape stem with pearls, center: match and ashes, bottom: mirror shards); Rainbow Coffee Sleeve Bracelet (Brass); Handmade Bottle Cap Pumps (Kidskin, cast silver bottle cap, silver wire, ipe wood, replaceable museum pins); Band-Aid Ring Assortment: (Top: cast bronze Band-Aid with resin, middle: cast silver Band-Aid, bottom: Cast Silver Band-Aid).