Review: '10 Most Endangered Properties,' plus 'Chromophilia'
The title of the "Chromophilia" exhibit at Craftland (235 Westminster Street, Providence, through October 10) focuses our attention on the bright colors of contemporary studio jewelry, which follows the 1980s revival — a la American Apparel — throughout fashion. But the bigger trend that curators Devienna Anggraini and Islay Taylor identify is a Post-Modern, catholic use of a wide variety of non-precious materials.
Mike & Maaike, a San Francisco studio led by Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers, fashion flat leather necklaces and broaches based on pixilated photos of famous jewelry (Daisy Fellowe's "Tutti Frutti" necklace, Imelda Marcos's ruby necklace, the Hope Diamond) found via Google image searches. Mariana Acosta Contreras of Providence strings folded leather into scarf-like necklaces resembling strands of flowers or shelf mushrooms. They often have a neutral main color (gray, white) with bright hues (reds, greens) flaring from inside folds.
Islay Taylor of Providence crochets webs of thread to hold cascading strands of orange and red beads. San Francisco's Emiko Oye turns Legos into bright, blocky, fun bracelets. One cheekily puns on Mondrian's blocky early 20th-century abstractions. RISD-trained Jimin Park's broaches look as if she's fashioned bits of metal and fluorescent plastic junk she picked up off the street into Post-Modern tribal talismans. Oye and Park's work highlights a distinguishing characteristic of this jewelry: a spirit of play.