Necklace designer Maxine Makover and photographer Michael Philip explore and amplify the many stories jewelry tells: “If the body is a stage; jewelry is one of its most dazzling performers.”*
Jewelry is a universally integrated form of art work, reflecting individual details of a person’s personality, while hinting at broader cultural implications. Makover taps into this potential with her creative wearable art, while Philip’s classical contemporary photographic element captures the life themes—joy, loss, sensuality—portrayed by the wearer.
Beloved, Bedazzled, Bejeweled is an exhibition comprised of three chapters presented together (read more about the three chapters below the images).
sponsored by Royal Furniture
*Jewelry: The Body Transformed; exhibition; Metropolitan Museum of Art; 2018
Beloved: Philip, inspired by classic and modern photographers; Horst, Newton, Avedon, Sherman, poses Makover wearing the necklaces exhibited; recreating themes in a woman’s life: love, joy, happiness, sensuality, loss, anger, fear, sadness, deception; serving to dispel the stereotypical thinking about jewelry as a decorative object, a useless accessory. The necklaces here function as carriers of socio-cultural and emotional meaning and how, in the photographs, they can create, subvert and magnify that meaning.
Bedazzled: Both designer and photographer curate the show turning most of the three-dimensional necklaces into seemingly flattened two-dimension works framing them as art works to be looked at and contemplated; how a viewer approaches a photograph or a painting; how the viewer engages in artwork which cannot be touched.
Bejeweled: This third chapter focuses on Makover’s handcrafted wearable art and the inspiration she draws from her personal life themes of the pursuit of beauty, harmony and empowerment. These concepts are expressed in the way the necklaces are fashioned and shaped, and in the materials used. Parallels are drawn between these works and the works of the most successful women jewelry designers of the 20th century—Schiaparelli, Belperron, De Patta, Picasso, Chao—who paved the way to consider this art form worthy of being exhibited in art galleries and museums all over the world, and as desirable additions to private collections.