Thank you to WGN Channel 9 for this beautiful piece all about Eve and her work in anticipation of the gallery’s 30th anniversary this fall!
If you missed it live, you can still watch her excellent interview on the WGNTV website…Learn all about Eve’s history, why her family left Europe, how her savvy math skills saved her, the moment when archaeology finally led her to decide on jewelry, and more!
Treasure hunters rejoice! A couple of enterprising detectorists (those who seek buried treasure with metal detectors) have once again proved that it can be a fruitful hobby indeed…the enterprising duo, Joe Kania and Mark Hambleton, unearthed the find of a lifetime in a field just south of Manchester. Their “hoard,” a bracelet and three neck torcs estimated to be at least 80% gold each, were either lost or buried 2,500 years ago, making them possibly the oldest known Iron Age discovery to date!
“The torcs were probably worn by wealthy and powerful women, perhaps people from the continent who had married into the local community,” said Dr. Julia Farley, a curator for the British Museum. “Piecing together how these objects came to be carefully buried in a Staffordshire field will give us an invaluable insight into life in Iron Age Britain.”
Not far from another famous find, the “Staffordshire Hoard,” this locale seems ripe for the detecting. This bounty was uncovered by ‘local boy’ Terry Herbert in 2009, and has already garnered a generous bounty for the finder (it’s the law in Great Britain that all found artifacts must be turned in to the government, but also that they get reimbursed the full value!), and the objects themselves have already been touring museums for some time! It will be exciting to see what happens to this 2017 discovery once its worth has been calculated by the British Museum, where it is currently being kept on display.
The Oscars…it’s a show that’s all about the audience, and an event where you’ll be less likely to find faux pearls than faux pas…but, rather than focusing on the award-giving awkwardness that occurred, we’re here to shine a spotlight on the many fabulous adornments that decorated the attendees!
The 2017 Oscars were an excellent opportunity for fabricators of fashion to show off their wares to an audience of roughly 32.9 million prospective buyers; by simply tuning in, viewers were immediately exposed to an abundance of beautiful looks and how to wear them. Many of these fashions were tried-and-true staples (Dakota Johnson’s necklace was literally borrowed from a museum!) hearkening back to an “old hollywood” glamour. Many of the winsome wearers, however, chose to go another route with bold and edgy choices that explored the very latest frontiers in jewelry trends.
…It should come as no surprise to anyone who has visited the Eve Alfille Gallery & Studio, then, that not a few of these looks were similar to trends which Eve has also explored through her chosen medium of jewelry. Read on to see examples of how the spirit of the red carpet and the imagination of Eve share the same spirit of exploration and high glamour!
Long & Layered, His & Hers
They may be a girl’s best friend, but there’s no reason that diamonds can’t look dreamy on men, too! In a characteristically bold look, Pharrell Williams embellished his Chanel wardrobe with a brooch in 18K white gold, diamonds, and cultured pearls. His long, luxurious necklaces especially evoke the classic, diamond-laden looks that Eve has crafted, such as her “Odalisque” or “Morning Run by the Lake” black-and-gray diamond necklaces.
Birds of a feather may flock together, but sometimes we mammals like to switch things up! Actress Saoirse Ronan played the matchmaking game with a pair of green and white earrings, not at all unlike Eve’s “Birds of Passage” earrings (which feature one white and one peacock-green South Seas pearl each!).
Isabelle Huppert wowed crowds with an Armani gown and a fitted earring cuff that traced the silhouette of her ear with shining gem-studded brilliance. A fresh and modern statement piece, this look bears resemblance to Eve’s “Lilith” earring from her “Garden of Eden” series. Also contoured to the outside of the ear, this piece features an 18 karat white gold design with a suite of shimmering diamonds sure to update any look.
This series, “Helios,” falls within my interest in and investigation of how we, as humans, have always responded to the world as we perceive it. So, more broadly, it belongs to the ‘passage of Time’, historical/prehistorical part of my work.
Just like my much earlier series “Les Animaliers” was not about animals per se, but about how we have interpreted them (an ‘animalier,’ in French, is a painter who specializes in animals as subjects), “Helios” attempts to view the Sun as ancient to modern people have seen it: a constant and inescapable presence, overwhelming at times –weak and endangered, perhaps, at others– and capable of multiple interpretations.
That those interpretations have almost always been very graphic testifies to our need for control and self identification: giving the Sun facial features is a very ancient, anthropocentric attempt at understanding it, and hopefully bringing its course under human control. Maybe if the sun is human-like, we can reason with it?
What does “Helios” mean to history? To jewelry?
Given how central the Sun, in its incredible power, is to human survival, I ponder how original sun cults eventually evolved into modern religions! Was it necessary to diminish the sun’s power by erecting defenses? Other, stronger gods to confront its influence?
Certainly Luna, the moon, is more often female, while Sol, the Sun, might more often have been seen as male- though not always.
Why? And why is the Sun’s face often bland? It is only occasionally that we encounter a favorable expression, or even a particularly angry one.
…And why did humans resist putting the Sun at the apex of their gods, when in fact its influence determines whether they eat or not, survive another year or not? How come Jupiter, how come Baal, how come any other gods came to be seen as more powerful?
What can we expect to see stylistically in this series? Any stones or motifs of note?
How interesting that we are conflicted about the sun: it is the best of things, it is the worst of things. We tan, or we wield parasols. Primitive tribes wailed in anguish during solar eclipses: it was dying, maybe not to return! If we use HFC’s, skin cancer rises. But then it’s beach season again.
So my suns will be both sunny and angry, they will be crowned in beauty with opals, and bare of ornament. They will be subdued, or blazing with diamonds, like the costume designed for Louis XIV, the Sun King. Red spinels, mandarin garnets, yellow sapphires.
But we too suffer when Helios, or Sol, removes itself. Its loss, or absence must, too, be celebrated, albeit in somber tones of black spinels, grey and mauve moonstones, and labradorites…
And there should also be peasant suns, enthroned over parched fields of jasper with plump golden rays enlivening sere landscapes, and uncertain suns, November suns, of pale citrine and quartz.
How does this series fit into your work as a whole?
When we celebrated our 25th year at the gallery, a “Deja Vu” series replayed some favorite pieces in a new guise in honor of the occasion. This time, as we prepare to honor our 30th year next year, I have taken a few other favorites –rings in this instance– and asked them to present homage to Helios as a special addition to the series. You will see a special version of the Acanthus ring, the Medieval ring, and a few others among the new Helios pieces. It is my way of paying obeisance to earlier inspirations while forging ahead, as I hope to do for many years to come.
Did you ever encounter anything related to Helios during your time as an archaeologist?
Heraldry…it is a medieval code of graphic design, and very precise. A heraldic sun’s straight rays always mean Light, but its oscillating rays have to mark Heat. Ancient Incas must have known this: their sun, who is a short-statured warrior, holds in his quiver both curved and straight rays.
Here too, is duality, which we must observe and portray. Heat and light: observe both in the political fray…perhaps more heat than light, alas.
To view Eve’s series, “Helios,” join us in celebration at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio on November 19 from 1pm to 7pm.
Is your bathroom a bit boring? Is your lavatory too lackluster? Leave the porcelain to the plebeians! The latest in privy improvements can now be experienced at the Guggenheim Museum in New York since Italian artist and editor of “The Toilet Paper” magazine Maurizio Cattelan has unveiled his latest exhibit: America.
This solid-18-karat-gold treasure of a toilet is now available for public reception on the fifth floor of the museum, which the artist intended to be fully functional as well as fashionable. Despite its current popularity with guests, the fabulous facilities were initially delayed: though the piece was created to be a working replica of a common Kohler model, the grand unveiling was delayed due to technical difficulties. According to the museum spokeswoman: “to the museum’s knowledge, this kind of casting process has never been done before.”
Ironically, despite the perniciousness of the plumbing, this is not the first golden toilet to grace bathrooms of the world (despite its clever monicker, “America”). In Hong Kong, a 24 karat solid gold toilet is included in the Hang Fung Gold Technology Group’s showroom. Elsewhere in Asia, a Saudi King kindly gifted a golden toilet to his daughter on her wedding day with the additional present of a wedding dress designed to embody all the glamour and style of the ancient pyramids. This strikingly geometric silhouette is the boldest choice in design since Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain,” another bathroom accessory fit for the annals of art history.