gemstones

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Art Photography

Gold Ornaments and Precious Stones Adorn Tender Photographic Portraits by Tawny Chatmon

November 4, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Joy” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 30 x 20 inches. All images © Tawny Chatmon, shared with permission

In If I’m No Longer Here, I Wanted You to Know, photographic artist Tawny Chatmon overlays portraits of young children and families with dabs of 24-karat gold leaf, precious stones, and watercolor details. The heavily adorned images are the latest in Chatmon’s superimposed works, which veered from digital collages to the hand-gilded pieces evocative of Gustav Klimt’s Golden Phase that are similar to those shown here, and respond to themes of unity and togetherness born out of the ongoing pandemic.

While many of Chatmon’s works previously centered on a single subject, she’s transitioned to also photographing two children at play or entire families, including fathers where she otherwise had not. She explains:

My father played such a paramount role in my, my sisters’, and my mother’s lives. It did not sit well with me that I wasn’t celebrating that in my work, too. It has been 10 years since we lost our father to prostate cancer, yet still, his lessons and love carry us through our days. I thought of my husband too, my brother-in-law, my friend’s fathers and husbands, and all of the world’s compassionate fathers and how important they are, and I especially wanted to celebrate Black fathers who are often depicted as anything other than what they truly are… phenomenal.

Through gilt embellishments, Chatmon emphasizes the beauty and value inherent in her subjects, whose joyful, tender expressions and gestures exude warmth and affection. “The past year’s pandemic revealed to me once more that time with our loved ones is not infinite… While the revelations of injustice leading to civil unrest reminded me of the urgency to continue to work towards a better future for our children,” she says. “I do not wish to wait for the perfect time, the perfect place, or the perfect day to express my love for family and friends.”

Currently based in Maryland, Chatmon will show some of her portraits with Galerie Myrtis at the 2022 Venice Biennial. She’s working on a new series titled Remnants, which explores themes of futurity and harmony through mosaic-style pieces comprised of snippets of the artist’s previous paintings. You can follow her progress on Instagram.

 

“Created in Her Image” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 40 x 30 inches

“Destined To Lead The Way” (2021), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, precious and semi-precious stones, on archival pigment print 34 x 22 inches

“He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” (2021), 24k gold leaf, 12k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 46 x 28 inches

“Best” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 40 x 30 inches

“Look Forward, Beloved Boy” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 36 x 24 inches

“It Was Never Your Burden To Carry” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, watercolor on archival pigment print, 52 x 36 inches

“Sweet Heart” (2016/2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic, precious stones on archival pigment print, 20 x 16 inches

“Ahead” (2020), 24k gold leaf, acrylic on archival pigment print, 28 x 21 inches

 

 



Art Food

Precious Gemstones Cloak Giant Fruit Sculptures in Gleaming Pockets of Decay

May 26, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Bad Lemon (Sea Witch)” (2020), aventurine, serpentine, prehnite, chrysoprase, rhyolite, agate, moss agate, jasper, peridot, moonstone, magnesite, lilac stone, turquoise, citrine, calcite, feldspar, ruby in zoisite, labradorite, swarovski crystal, quartz, mother of pearl, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, 16½ x 18 x 20 inches. All images © Kathleen Ryan, courtesy of Karma, New York, shared with permission

Colorful, lustrous patterns made of precious and semi-precious stones coat a new series of oversized fruit sculptures by Kathleen Ryan. A bright rind peeks through layers of mold on a halved lemon, white and green Penicillium spoils a basket of cherries, and multicolored fungi crawls out of a grinning Jack-o-lantern. Continuing her practice of portraying the grotesque through traditionally beautiful materials, the New York-based artist (previously) ironically questions notions of value, desire, and “how objects bring meaning and carry a history.”

You can see Ryan’s sculptures at Karma in New York through June 19, and find more of her unsightly fruits on Instagram.

 

Detail of “Bad Cherries (Twins)” (2021), freshwater pearl, magnesite, quartz, moonstone, agate, turquoise, lapis lazuli, amazonite, garnet, citrine, serpentine, jasper, limestone, rose quartz, unakite, rhodonite, pink opal, calcite, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, lead sinkers, 36½ x 49 x 16 inches

“Bad Cherries (Twins)” (2021), freshwater pearl, magnesite, quartz, moonstone, agate, turquoise, lapis lazuli, amazonite, garnet, citrine, serpentine, jasper, limestone, rose quartz, unakite, rhodonite, pink opal, calcite, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, lead sinkers, 36½ x 49 x 16 inches

Detail of “Bad Lemon (Sea Witch)” (2020), aventurine, serpentine, prehnite, chrysoprase, rhyolite, agate, moss agate, jasper, peridot, moonstone, magnesite, lilac stone, turquoise, citrine, calcite, feldspar, ruby in zoisite, labradorite, swarovski crystal, quartz, mother of pearl, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, 16½ x 18 x 20 inches

“Bad Cherries” (2021), amazonite, aventurine, fluorite, turquoise, malachite, angelite, labradorite, smokey quartz, quartz, rose quartz, citrine, magnesite, aquamarine, green line jasper, sesame jasper, pink aventurine, agate, tiger eye, garnet, carnelian, lapis lazuli, moonstone, mother of pearl, shell, freshwater pearls, wood, acrylic, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, lead sinkers, steel pallet cage, 98½ x 100 x 110½ inches

“Bad Cherry (Bite)” (2021), garnet, pink opal, agate, peach moonstone, red aventurine, smokey quartz, quartz, carnelian, brecciated jasper, magnesite, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing pole, lead sinker, 11½ x 31½ x 10 inches

“Bad Lemon (Sour Blush)” (2020), aventurine, smokey quartz, rhodonite, calcite, quartz, labradorite, green line jasper, kambaba jasper, pink opal, citrine, amethyst, rose quartz, agate, serpentine, pink lepidolite, malachite, mother of pearl, freshwater pearl, bone, glass, acrylic, steel pins on coated polystyrene, 28 x 19½ x 18½ inches

“Jackie” (2021), azurite-malachite, lapis lazuli, agate, black onyx, breccicated jasper, moss agate, malachite, calcite, labradorite, rose quartz, smokey quartz, ching hai jade, red aventurine, carnelian, citrine, amethyst, quartz, acrylic, polystyrene, fiberglass, nails, steel pins, wood, 66 x 90 x 86 inches

Left: “Bad Cherry (Junior)” (2021), garnet, aventurine, rhodonite, serpentine, quartz, marble, agate, pink opal, amazonite, jasper, moonstone, carnelian, smokey quartz, limestone, unakite, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing pole, lead sinker, 32½ x 23½ x 17½ inches. Right: “Bad Cherries (Shirley Temple)” (2020), carnelian, garnet, rhodonite, rhodochrosite, amethyst, marble, agate, moss agate, lava rock, red aventurine, flower amazonite, brecciated jasper, hessonite, pink opal, tiger eye, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, 39 x 23 x 11 inches

“Bad Lemon (Armadillo)” (2021), tiger eye, tektite, limestone, agate, amber, lava rock, turquoise, magnesite, carnelian, serpentine, garnet, citrine, brecciated jasper, tigerskin jasper, unakite, moonstone, pyrite, mother of pearl, black turban shell, horn, acrylic, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, 21½ x 18 x 28 inches

 

 



Art

Lustrous Strips of Glass Bisect Debris, Bricks, and Semi-Precious Stones in Ramon Todo’s Sculptures

October 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Debris” (2016), debris and layered glass. All images courtesy of Art Front Gallery, © Keiso Kioku, shared with permission

Between gnarly chunks of concrete, basalt pillars, and smooth rounds of lapis lazuli, Ramon Todo (previously) positions sleek segments of layered glass. The Tokyo-born artist splices fragments of found objects that otherwise would be regarded as refuse, like a crumbling brick from Iizuka City or coal waste, to repurpose the existing material with a lustrous embellishment.

Whether volcanic rock or chunks of demolished architecture, the resulting juxtapositions carry the original history, although they’re presented anew. “The characteristics of the place. The uniqueness of the place. Like the memories of the place and time,” the artist says in an interview about a recent solo show at Art Front Gallery in Tokyo. “I use the rocks, debris, Bota (stone similar to coal) for my works believing they have such memories inside. I used the glasses as material in the middle to peek into the time and the history of inside the rocks.”

Find more of Todo’s textured sculptures on Artsy, and see where his work is headed next on Art Front’s site.

 

(2015), basalt and glass

(2015), basalt and glass

“Debris 267703” (2016), debris and glass, 23 4/5 × 7 7/10 × 5 3/5 inches

Top: “Debris – 267411” (2014), debris and glass, 8 1/10 × 23 3/5 × 7 1/10 inches. Left: “o.T-GS” (2018) stone and layered glass, 11 × 16 1/2 × 8 3/10 inches. Right: “o.T. -dtk267801″ (2016), stone from Datekan and glass, 7 1/5 × 7 1/5 × 7 inches

(2015), basalt and glass

“Afghanistan” (2017), Lapis lazuli and glass, 7/10 × 2 1/2 × 1 3/5 inches

“Chikuho Coal waste #15” (2020), coal waste from Chikuho and glass, 12 3/5 × 12 1/10 × 5 3/5 inches

“Chikuho Red Brick” (2020), brick pieces collected from Iizuka City and glass, 7 1/5 × 4 2/5 × 2 2/5 inches

 

 



Art Food

Precious Gems Form the Unsightly Rot of Artist Kathleen Ryan’s Decomposing Fruit

September 15, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Bad Grapes” (2020), amethyst, aventurine, agate, garnet, pyrite, ruby in zoisite, tektite, tigereye, turquoise, serpentine, obsidian, blackstone, Indian unakite, labradorite, Sierra agate, red agate, black agate, serpentine, quartz, marble, amazonite, rhyolite, calcite, dalmation jasper, glass, steel and stainless steel pins, copper tube, and copper fittings, polystyrene. 59.5 x 90 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

New York-based artist Kathleen Ryan harvests inspiration for her oversized sculptures from natural sources: cherry orchards, vineyards, and mineral mines below the earth’s crust. She’s known for her fruit pieces that appear to be covered in mold, whether in the form of a deflated bunch of grapes or a pair of cherries spotted with fungi.

Ryan portrays the moldy substances through precious and semi-precious gemstones like amethyst, quartz, and marble. The materials’ durability and longevity directly contrast the decay they represent. Whereas the most valuable and lustrous stones cover parts of the fruit, Ryan uses simple glass beads to create the still supple portions, forming the bright red flesh of the cherry or the pockets of yellow rind on the lemon.

A virtual exhibition of the artist’s rotting sculptures, which sometimes span as many as 90 inches wide, is available for viewing from Karma. Follow Ryan on Instagram to see more of her work that explores the beautiful and the unsightly.

 

“Bad Cherries (BFF)” (2020), agate, amazonite, aquamarine, aventurine, amethyst, angelite, brecciaded jasper, garnet, jasper, labradorite, magnesite, moonstone, quartz, red aventurine, rhyolite, serpentine, snow quartz, smoky quartz, spotted quartz, unakite, tiger eye, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, 26 × 12 × 39 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

“Bad Grapes” (2020), amethyst, aventurine, agate, garnet, pyrite, ruby in zoisite, tektite, tigereye, turquoise, serpentine, obsidian, blackstone, Indian unakite, labradorite, Sierra agate, red agate, black agate, serpentine, quartz, marble, amazonite, rhyolite, calcite, dalmation jasper, glass, steel and stainless steel pins, copper tube, and copper fittings, polystyrene. 59.5 x 90 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Bad Cherries (BFF)” (2020), agate, amazonite, aquamarine, aventurine, amethyst, angelite, brecciaded jasper, garnet, jasper, labradorite, magnesite, moonstone, quartz, red aventurine, rhyolite, serpentine, snow quartz, smoky quartz, spotted quartz, unakite, tiger eye, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, 26 × 12 × 39 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

“Pleasures Known” (2019), various semi-precious stones, shells, beads, wood, steel, plastic, hardware, coated polystyrene, iron trailer. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Bad Grapes” (2020), amethyst, aventurine, agate, garnet, pyrite, ruby in zoisite, tektite, tigereye, turquoise, serpentine, obsidian, blackstone, Indian unakite, labradorite, Sierra agate, red agate, black agate, serpentine, quartz, marble, amazonite, rhyolite, calcite, dalmation jasper, glass, steel and stainless steel pins, copper tube, and copper fittings, polystyrene. 59.5 x 90 x 54 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Bad Cherries (BFF)” (2020), agate, amazonite, aquamarine, aventurine, amethyst, angelite, brecciaded jasper, garnet, jasper, labradorite, magnesite, moonstone, quartz, red aventurine, rhyolite, serpentine, snow quartz, smoky quartz, spotted quartz, unakite, tiger eye, freshwater pearls, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, fishing poles, 26 × 12 × 39 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

“Pleasures Known” (2019), various semi-precious stones, shells, beads, wood, steel, plastic, hardware, coated polystyrene, iron trailer. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Pleasures Known” (2019), various semi-precious stones, shells, beads, wood, steel, plastic, hardware, coated polystyrene, iron trailer. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, by Marten Elder

“Bad Lemon (Persephone)” (2020), Turquoise, serpentine, agate, smokey quartz, labradorite, tiger eye, tektite, zebra jasper, carnelian, garnet, pyrite, black stone, magnesite, Ching Hai jade, aventurine, Italian onyx, mahogany obsidian, vanadinite, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, 19.5 × 28.5 × 18 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York

“Bad Lemon (Tart)” (2020), Citrine, amber, agate, turquoise, fluorite, prehnite, magnesite, Ching Hai jade, quartz, amethyst, garnet, labradorite, white lip shell, serpentine, sesame jasper, zebra jasper, grey feldspar, marble, glass, steel pins on coated polystyrene, 19 × 16 × 17 inches. Image courtesy of Kathleen Ryan and Karma, New York