Never before has there been so much interest in jewelry created by artists. Following up on her stellar exhibition, ‘From Picasso to Jeff Koons, The Artist as Jeweler’, held at the Museum of Art and Design in New York in 2011, artist-jewelry collector Diane Venet has released a book dedicated to the small scale sculptures that were exhibited in the show (65% of which was drawn from her personal collection). A new Paris gallery, Mini Masterpieces has opened, founded by art and jewelry aficionado Esther de Beaucé and joins the nearby Galerie Naïla de Monbrison, which since 1987 has specialised in jewelry by contemporary artists. And one of the leadings dealers in the field, Louisa Guinness Gallery in London, has added to its already stellar roster of artists with new commissions by the likes of Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor.

Why the sudden spike in the exposure of wearable art? The answer might lie simply in the vast supplies that exist. From Rene Magritte surrealist brooches to Damien Hirst pill charm bracelets, artists of all generations have created jewelry. At one end of the market is Didier, a London-based dealer that specialises primarily in artist jewelry created for the most part between 1940 and 1990. At Design Miami which took place earlier this month, they were exhibiting an Yves Klein pendant, a Claude Lalanne necklace and a Roy Lichtenstein brooch, amongst other mini masterpieces. And at the other end of the spectrum are the contemporary artists who are reproducing in miniature the essence of their art – see Jeff Koons’ new Rabbit pendants and Antony Gormley’s sculptural necklaces.

From Picasso to Koons: The Artist as Jeweler
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