COSTUME COSTUME with Sienna Gallery @ SOFA NY

COSTUME COSTUME (an opulent project) is a collection of work made by emerging contemporary art jewelers. It is an exploration of costume jewelry as subject; jewelry about jewelry.

Representing a vast range of styles, qualities, and designs, costume jewelry is almost always mass produced and affordable. Frequently costume jewelry mimics existing jewelry or implies a notion of a historical style. It is a unique category of jewelry in that the original intent was not to be a priceless object or heirloom, but simply to be fashionable and, when a trend passed, dispensable. Masquerading as something of abundance, costume jewelry, which has very little actual material value, makes luxury seem attainable.

Repurposing costume jewelry has been the subject of the do-it-yourself craft movement and high fashion alike, and is further popularized by the eco/green fashion trend. The Opulent Project proposed COSTUME COSTUME as a project for contemporary art jewelers to address the current trend to re-consume material culture, and to question the nature of costume jewelry. We were drawn to costume jewelry because of our interest in objects that exist as simulations of unattainable luxury items. Costume jewelry holds fascinating potential for exploration as it manages to exist with unparalleled duplicity. It is disposable luxury, a common rarity; it can be both dispensable and coveted. By replication and alteration we seek to further remove this jewelry from its historical context. Adding to it until it takes on a new character – thus costuming the costumed.

Participating artists as of April 2011 Mikael Arsjö, Kate Bauman, Michael Dale Bernard, Thyra Bessette, Sarah Kate Burgess, Erin Gardner, Anna Hinkes, Rory Hooper, Courtney Kemp, Julia Elizabeth Louise, Jimin Park, Mary Hallam Pearse, Earl Ross, Leslie Skalin, Theresa Sterner, Monika Strasser, Kristi Sword, Islay Taylor, Melissa Tolar, Ben Ulsh.

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