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I Feel Like There is a Standard of How Contemporary Jewellery Should Look Like. Koen Jacobs interviewed by Klimt02

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 19.05.2020
Koen Jacobs Koen Jacobs
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona
Edited on:
2020
Koen Jacobs. Shoulder Piece: Camaleão 3/3, 2017. Silver, silicium carbide, fimo, rhinestones.. 18 x 8 x 30 cm. Photo by: Gerrit Rietveld Academie. From series: The Artificial Kingdom. Koen Jacobs
Shoulder Piece: Camaleão 3/3, 2017
Silver, silicium carbide, fimo, rhinestones.
18 x 8 x 30 cm
Photo by: Gerrit Rietveld Academie
From series: The Artificial Kingdom
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Recently I have many doubts about the contemporary jewellery scene, there are many jewellery makers and a small group of collectors. Most jewellers do need side jobs to make a living, even known ones. Sometimes I feel like there is a standard of how contemporary jewellery should look like, generated through galleries, platforms and museums, but most likely the scene has to widen up to reach out to new people and new markets.
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?
After a short internship with a goldsmith I became fascinated with jewellery. In 2008 I started at the gold- and silver smithery school in Netherlands, where my mother studied as well. So for me it was a natural step to become also a jeweller. My perspective towards jewellery changed dramatically when I attended Alchimia, school for contemporary jewellery in Florence. Ruudt Peters challenged me to forget about my traditional jewellery background and to dive into the world of contemporary jewellery. A world of new possibilities, new materials and concepts opened up to me and since I enjoyed this new world a lot I decided to continue my studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.
 
 
How important is networking for you in your professional practice and what are your preferred tools for this?
Networking is an important tool for my professional practice. As I have been participating in several fairs and exhibitions, I had to promote and sell my work myself. These exhibitions helped me to understand how people look at my work and to find the right place the present it. Especially for my marionettes, I found collectors in a non-jewellery setting. Usually, each exhibition provides me with an invitation for a future exhibition. Since 2014 I’m Ruudt Peters studio assistant and Ruudt has been a great supporter of the start of my contemporary jewellery career.


Unicórnio, 2019, Silver, labradorite, celadonite, amethyst, 23 x 8 x 52 cm, Photo by Koen Jacobs, Wearable marionette


What are your general thoughts on the contemporary jewellery world, (education, market, development...), where do you see chances and where are dead ends? 
Recently I have many doubts about the contemporary jewellery scene, there are many jewellery makers and a small group of collectors. Most jewellers do need side jobs to make a living, even known ones. Sometimes I feel like there is a standard of how contemporary jewellery should look like, generated through galleries, platforms and museums, but most likely the scene has to widen up to reach out to new people and new markets. I see opportunities in a cross over between different jewellery disciplines, like the initiative of the New York City Jewelry Week. Besides, I discovered new markets myself through participating at art fairs, where collectors do appreciate the sculptural qualities of contemporary jewellery.
 
 
Thinking about your career, what role do technology and the digital play in your artistic development & communication? 
Since I’m trained as a professional gold- and silversmith I have been always fascinated by the craft of making jewellery. I do see qualities in the makers handwriting and spending time on making something precious. I miss these qualities in modern technologies, like 3d printing. Film and photography are important media for me to document and promote my work. Especially for the marionettes, I love people to see their unique movements and since I cannot always play and activate them myself, documentation can be very useful. So far I have been producing these video’s myself but I would love to start a collaboration with a professional video maker to lift up these documentations to an artistic work on its own.
 

How has your work changed over the past few years and what are you excited about these days?
After my graduation from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2017 for 3 years, I continued with my series of The Artificial Kingdom, where I researched how to go back to my own childhood memories. For me, it was a challenge to research about movements to create new animal marionettes.

My current work METAMORPHOSES is inspired by mankind getting out of touch with nature. The Roman poet Ovidius describes in his poems Metamorphoses beautifully how the harmony between mankind and nature got disturbed by gods pursuing earthly desires, just like people today. In classical times the longing for getting back to harmony was symbolised in hybrids of men and nature which can be seen in many frescos in the form of centaurs, fauns and so on.

By bringing these mythological figures to live, trough silver wire drawings on top of chiselled shapes, I hope to inspire you to get in harmony with nature again.
 
Appreciate APPRECIATE