Alexander Blank's Fabulous Fantasies. An article by Liesbeth den Besten

Article  /  Artists   CriticalThinking   Essays
Published: 20.09.2017
Liesbeth den Besten Liesbeth den Besten
Liesbeth den Besten
Edited by:
Metalsmith Magazine
Edited at:
Edited on:
Alexander Blank. Brooch: Jackal, 2012. Perspex mirror, cardboard, silver.. 2 5/8  x 4 3/8  x 3 1/2. Photo by: Mirei Takeuchi. Published at: Metalsmith Magazine Vol 37 No 1. Alexander Blank
Brooch: Jackal, 2012
Perspex mirror, cardboard, silver.
2 5/8 x 4 3/8 x 3 1/2
Photo by: Mirei Takeuchi
Published at: Metalsmith Magazine Vol 37 No 1
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Alexander Blank’s pragmatic ideas about editions are indicative of how a younger generation of jewelry artists feels free to play with standards set by former generations.
German artist Alexander Blank is the quintessential outsider: one who wandered into the field by accident, but after gaining an understanding of it, developed into an artist with an impressive signature. Blank’s use of commercial logos, Looney Tunes characters, and smiley faces points to a healthy interest in popular culture.
He began using such iconography in his jewelry at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, in the class of Otto Künzli. The Fat Booty of Madness catalogue, which celebrates the jewelry class at the Munich Academy (published in 2008), features a photograph of one of Blank’s early jewelry pieces. Blank’s colleague and friend Stefan Heuser sits on a bed half-naked, in a rather provocative pose, wearing a Bunny pendant cut from stag horn (2006).
The pose and setting are hilarious, but at the same time the image unveils something else: an independence and stubbornness, a disinterest in the formal and communicative status quo of the field...

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About the author

Liesbeth Den Besten is an Amsterdam-based freelance art historian, who works as a writer, teacher, lecturer, and curator. She is the author of the book On Jewellery, A Compendium of international contemporary art jewellery (Arnoldsche, 2011).