Wednesday, June 13, 2007

SOFA ny 2007

You know what's funny about blogging? Sometimes, it can feel trying to come up with something to talk about, and then other times, it's like I have to keep a running mental checklist of all the things I want to be sure and talk about…

Today I'm addressing just one of the many things I've had on my mind that I want to share. I attended SOFA NY at the armory in Manhattan well over a week ago. For those who are not familiar with the acronym, it stands for Sculptural Objects and Functional Art. It's held twice a year, once in New York, once in Chicago. I missed SOFA NY last year because D and I were in the midst of moving into our apartment so I promised myself I would not miss it again this year. I was surprised to find however that in two years time, not too much had changed about the exhibit. Maybe it's never as thrilling as the first time? Maybe because it's all the same galleries exhibiting? I don't know. I just wasn't blown away by EVERYTHING I SAW like I was the first time I went to SOFA. There were really only a handful of art jewelers that stood out for me.

The most exciting work was by Melanie Bilenker represented by Sienna Gallery in Lenox, MA.



I had seen her work in magazines and was intrigued by the concept… she creates simplistic, graceful line drawings of "everyday moments" using her own hair, piece by tiny little piece, encased in layers of resin. Photos definitely do not do this artist's work justice! To say they are stunning in person is an understatement. They are so compelling and beautifully crafted. The instinct to get closer and closer to the works is intense. I just had to hold one in my hands and experience the detail up close. Bilenker achieves a great amount of depth within a tiny space and out of such subtle lines created with her own hair! Breathlessly intriguing. The ebony backing/sides of the brooches I held were a fantastic compliment to the works as well. Experiencing her jewelry in person for the first time was definitely the SOFA highlight for me.

The other artist's work whom I enjoyed visiting at Jewelers Werk Galerie in Washington, DC was Vera Siemund. Her work for me is so bizarre, and yet I'm totally compelled by it. The pierced piece below is a favorite of mine, but she has some larger, heavy looking enameled pieces that are also fantastic.

One thing I can say about SOFA, is that it's definitely a treat to be able to visit the many different high end, extraordinary art jewelry galleries, all in one place. Even though it did not blow my mind this year, I still felt inspired to see works by "my people" in person! I went home and drew in my sketchbook for an hour or so and it felt wonderful.

4 comments:

Kait said...

Wow! Both these artists are so amazing! Thanks for showing us them here. Must go check out those links now....

Stacey said...

Thanks for sharing your insights about SOFA. It's great, looking over your shoulder. I enjoy your blog.

Midge said...

Thanks ladies! I just discoveredthe 2007 SOFA NY here:

http://www.studiojeweler.blogspot.com/

Thanks for reading and for your comments! :-)

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