WELCOME DISCUSSION: In these politically charged times, Amarist Studio will be making a statement with its Welcome Jewelry installation in May at Art New York.
The Barcelona-based creative agency was formed by the artists and designers Arán Lozano and Clara Campo. They will be showing the Welcome Jewelry for Social Good for the first time in the U.S., when the event starts May 3 at Pier 94, and runs through May 7. The earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pins are made of razor wire that has been cut, polished and plated with 24-karat gold and will be showcased in clear plastic packaging. The effect is meant to be like a mass-produced supermarket.
Campo said via e-mail, “With the Welcome installation in Art New York, we want to create an immersive space for the visitor, generating debate on the refugee crisis as well as empowering social responsibility. With the deconstruction of a border wall, followed by the transformation of its fragments into solidarity jewelry, we want to demonstrate how art and design can help change concepts, going beyond the theoretical to become active.”
The installation will be set up near the entrance to the art fair. The barbed wire is supposed to symbolize the barbed wire that has been installed along the borders of European countries. With prices ranging from $50 to $130, all proceeds of the collection will benefit the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is more commonly known as the UN Refugee Agency. The global group is committed to saving lives and protecting rights for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.
Art New York’s fair director Katelijne De Backer said, “In the current political and social climate, when Clara came to me with the proposal, I thought it was so pure,” adding that she hopes visitors to the fair will become immersed in the experience. “Sometimes you have to take a chance and just go with your gut feeling. I really think this is worth showing and will create a dialogue among the visitors.”
During the show’s five-day stretch, 25,000 to 30,000 people are expected to walk the show, she said. Art Miami will present the third edition of Art New York and the second edition of Context New York concurrently. The two events will feature artwork from more than 150 galleries representing nearly 1,200 artists from 50 countries.
De Backer said, “We always do special projects, but to have this, which is more focused on social awareness and what is happening in the world, keeps everybody busy in some way or another.”