U nexpected interplays of past, present and future carry through the work of prolific multidisciplinary artist Daniel Arsham. He has made contemporary consumer goods and antiquities alike the subjects of his sculptures, turning them into crystallised artefacts that are “future relics” for civilisations to come.
In his new collaboration with iconic US jewelry brand Tiffany & Co., Arsham set his sights on a motif that has been a part of the identity of the house since the 19th century: the padlock. The resulting sculpture, entitled Bronze Eroded Tiffany Padlock, reimagines an archival design as a beautifully timeworn object with a patina that evokes the brand’s signature blue hue.
And where Tiffany & Co. is involved, jewelry is a central consideration – each of Arsham’s sculptures encases an 18-karat white-gold bangle from its Lock collection, set with more than three carats of diamonds and more than one carat of brilliant green tsavorites. The edition is limited to 99 sculptures and priced at $59,000. A custom Tiffany Blue art-handling crate with metal hardware houses the precious cargo.
The artist has previously collaborated with the jeweller on two occasions. First, he designed eroded bronze boxes to house limited-edition Tiffany Knot Bangles decorated with tsavorites and diamonds. A basketball – also in Tiffany Blue – created in partnership with sporting goods brand Wilson and embossed with Arsham Studio’s double A logo followed. (As the maker of trophies for major athletic contests, including the Super Bowl and the World Series, the jeweller’s reach extends to the world of sports.)
The jeweller’s artistic inclinations extend beyond its collaboration with Arsham. Drawings from Andy Warhol are the centrepiece of a series of offerings for the festive season and serve as vivid reminders of the artist’s history with the brand. In 1957, before his breakout success with Campbell Soup canvases, Tiffany commissioned Warhol to illustrate its holiday cards, continuing to use the drawings until 1962. Those lively, candy-coloured images – a shoe adorned with holly, stars, a mischievous cherub – will appear this winter on gifts such as playing cards, dessert plates and ornaments. An early proponent of blurring boundaries between commerce and fine art, Warhol would have undoubtedly approved.
Since then, talents spanning disparate disciplines have found an artistic accomplice in Tiffany & Co. From a groundbreaking collection of the early 2000s featuring torqued shapes by architect Frank Gehry to last year’s remixed take on the mainstay Return to Tiffany collection by streetwear giant Supreme. With a roster of signature designers who have created enduring pieces for the brand through the decades, such as Elsa Peretti’s Bone cuffs or Jean Schlumberger’s enamelled bangles and botanical designs in yellow gold, the heritage jeweller is always in good company.
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