Contemporary jewellery is freedom and constant growth. Denis Music interviewed by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 01.07.2024
Denis Music Denis Music
Edited by:
Edited at:
Edited on:
Denis Music. Brooch: Honor, 2023. Titanium, silver, steel. 8.5 х 8.5 х 2 cm. Serial number: 02/10. Photo by: Denis Music. From series: Resistance. Denis Music
Brooch: Honor, 2023
Titanium, silver, steel
8.5 х 8.5 х 2 cm
Serial number: 02/10
Photo by: Denis Music
From series: Resistance
© By the author. Read Copyright.

Estimated price: 650 €

Klimt02 member Denis Music is an artist from Ukraine who believes that what is truly important is the statement an owner makes to the world.
Tell us about your background. What were your first influences to be creative and become an artist and what has drawn you to contemporary jewellery?
Contemporary jewellery is freedom and constant growth. That's why I'm here. I found my artistic freedom in contemporary jewellery with the creation of my collection, Reinformation In this collection, I stripped away everything superfluous from the jewellery, leaving only the essence and foundation. I consider this collection the true starting point of my journey as an artist.

I worked in advertising for about 15 years. Eventually, I realised that I wanted to create tangible objects, not just digital files. I changed careers after the age of 35. After graduating from the College of Jewellery Art in Kyiv, I began practising around 2012. I love working with new materials so I'm learning every day. In 2021, I won a scholarship from the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and went to Italy for an intensive course at Alchimia.

With a dream of a similar school for jewellers, I returned to Ukraine. In October 2021, along with my wife and partner, we opened a space for jewellers called Verstak. However, just 2.5 months later, Russia launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine, and everything changed.

I, my life, and the lives of millions of Ukrainians were changed forever.

How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
A united community and networking are very important.

With the full-scale invasion, our professional community has become incredibly strong. We have been supporting each other with contacts, advice, tools, and workspace. As a collective, we are now exploring ways to use the jewellery language to tell the world about the horror of the war.

This is how we organize collective exhibitions. Our joint project Brave to Live was invited to Handwerk and Design in March, and now, with an expanded list of participants, it is exhibited at the Lisbon Jewellery Biennial.

After two years, our self-organised community is formalizing into the official jeweller's association LANKA Ukrainian Jewellery Community, managed by my wife Kateryna Music, and our colleague Olga Vynogradova.

Being part of a community makes it much easier to work, grow, and be heard.

What are your general thoughts on the contemporary jewellery world, (education, market, development...), where do you see chances and where are dead ends?
Art expresses our cultural level of development and shapes opinions. Therefore, artists and their works have a significant impact. At the same time, it is a great responsibility for the artists.

Contemporary jewellery art is a language and politics. Everything we do, every choice we make, is a political gesture. If someone wants to stay out of politics, they legitimize indifference.

Art unites. And only by uniting can we stop the war.

Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication?
Technology helps bring ideas to life. I find it fascinating to observe how jewellery art and art in general are changing thanks to technological progress. My collection COPYism was dedicated to this theme. I used structures created by a 3D printer as the basis for the patterns in my jewellery. At that time, I joked, asking the question: Who is more important, me or the machine?

How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
My life, my perception of the world, and my work changed with the onset of the war. Creativity saved me from stagnation. The shock of the invasion was so strong that I couldn’t speak. All emotions – fear, hate, shock, panic, rage, and love – overwhelmed me.

Without a workshop, I began creating jewellery from available materials, and this saved me. 

Artists have the privilege of using art to cope with intense emotions. At the same time, they are more vulnerable because they are sensitive. My first works during the invasion were two brooches: Flowers of War and Bucha, both about war crimes.

One brooch was sold on your platform, and it was donated to a prosthetics centre Superhuman. This gave me a new purpose to continue my practice.

Now, I focus on creating political jewellery because art helps me build connections between people, countries, and cultures. 

Staying in Ukraine with my family under shelling and frequent power outages, I tell the world about the war through my jewellery. Unfortunately, this war affects everyone. Putin won’t stop at Ukraine.