We’ll give anything with more-than-meets-the-eye sensibilities a second look, so you can believe our peepers were locked on the 80+ pieces on display in the latest the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design exhibition, Designers on Jewelry: 12 Years of Jewelry Production by Chi ha paura…?
First, what on earth is Chi ha paura…? Literally translated from Italian, it means who’s afraid of…? But it’s also the name of a foundation from jewelry and product designer Gijs Bakker (who also happens to be the founder of Droog Design) that challenges artists and industrial designers to create contemporary jewelry rich in ideas, rather than bling.
We stopped by a preview of the new exhibit last week to find numerous pieces that impressed with their provocative messages, clever use of unconventional materials and curious twists on the traditional.
Among our favorites were a gold cross pendant comprised of hundreds of tiny brand names, a pair of gold sunglasses meant to be worn in the hair instead of over the eyes, a chunky silver ring that doubles a safety whistle and a ring that presses a message into the wearer’s skin (gently, of course).
Along with being fun to look at, the exhibition makes plain contemporary fashion’s often-elusive serious side with works that are just as focused on rich ideas as they are on outward-facing ornamentation.
On view through May 16, 2010 at San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design, 550 Sutter St., www.sfmcd.org.
[Photography: Rien Bazen for San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design]