‘Little Treasures That You Can Take with You’
Victoire de Castellane, the creative director of Dior Joaillerie, recently exhibited Precious Objects, a collection of her unique lacquered and bejeweled works at Gagosian Gallery’s Upper East Side location in New York — an atypical space for a jewellery exhibition. But her work has long been admired for its artistic merit, and is often put on pedestals when it is not being worn. Seven years ago she introduced Belladone Island (2007), an exhibition of enchanting jewellery that occupied the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, which houses Claude Monet’s famous large-format waterlilies–Les Nymphéas. This hallowed space was an appropriate backdrop for her brightly coloured creations, which shimmer and delight from every angle. From her past exhibitions, it is clear she embraces the idea of her creations as objets d’art. In her artist’s statement, she writes, “[My work] speaks about concept and form as opposed to objective value. It becomes sculpture.”
In advance of our online-only Spring Jewels auction (May 6-20), we asked de Castellane on the relationship between jewellery and desire. Read her answers below, and see our Spring Jewels here.
What artist has been influencing your work lately? (We read you are a fan of Thomas Ruff, and wanted to know more about how sexuality and intrigue are at play in your practice.)
I draw inspiration from the work of many different artists, as each of them offers a particular form of expression, like a personal language. I'm influenced by all kinds of images, paintings of different eras, movies, feelings, sexuality, the relationship between men and women, life, love, and death.
How do you come up with names for your work?
I imagine the jewels to be like small personalities that become
alive through my stories. Each story leads to the names, and each name I
find leads to new names.
Image: © Victoire de Castellane. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Mathieu Perrou.