BHLO: a duet – Jorge Manilla & Ruta Reifen – two botanical explorations …
Opening reception sept. 19th 7-9 pm
Artist talk September 20, 3pm
An art jewelry exhibition featuring Ruta Reifen’s Floralforever (pardesim) and Jorge Manillla’s Impossible to imagine collections. Two unique botanical explorations, abstract and figurative. Both stories of a human’s relationship to their environment, one philosophical and the other a particular narrative. Presented together, as a duet, a dance, these bodies of work employ floral forms as cultural symbols, personal and universal.
Jorge Manilla, the son of a family of Mexican goldsmiths and engravers, studied visual arts at the Academy of San Carlos, in Mexico. He received a highly technical jewellery training at the Academy of Craft and Design from the Mexican Institute of Fine Arts. But it was until he moved to Belgium, years later, where he enrolled at the Karel de Grote Academy in Antwerp, that he was forced to forget about the traditional notion he had to jewellery, to let his technical skills aside and to research about the cultural meaning of jewellery, its conceptual possibilities and to experiment with materials and techniques .
Manilla’s vast production, is both utterly beautiful and profoundly upsetting. Attraction, repulsion, uneasiness: his work confronts him with his religious upbringing and the viewer with a powerful and intimate perception of the syncretic religion of the modern Mexico. Allusions to religious images and iconography that show the often tortuous and painful relations that Mexicans have with their faith. Wood, bones, textile, branded leather and silver are amalgamated and transformed into almost recognizable shapes: a probable anatomical part, a series of tiny bundles that could be small babies, an unknown religious utensil. Manilla is not shy to experiment with all kinds of materials and processes, never leaving aside his extraordinary metalsmithing skills. Each one of his pieces is carefully crafted in a variety of processes that are able to convey his rotund ideas.
Ruta Reifen, born in Jerusalem, Israel, 1984. Received an honors B.Design in Jewelry Design from Shenkar College of Engineering and Design (Israel) 2009. In 2011 she received and honors MFA from the Jewelry + Metals department at the Rhode Island School of Design (United States).
Ruta keeps her own studio practice in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Her fine jewelry sells in selected boutique stores across the US and Europe. Ruta’s practice is based on an expertise of artisanal goldsmith techniques, design skills, and an academic background in jewelry, art history, and contemporary art.
Each piece is individually handmade by the artist in Brooklyn, using responsibly sourced metals and stones, ensuring a commitment to the highest quality craftsmanship as well as minimal environmental impact.
“As a maker, jewelry presents endless opportunities to form intimacy through a wearable piece of art. These jewels are symbols of the splendor and romance I find in flowers, also the most immediate material for self-adornment since ancient times. Floral forms relate directly to the wearer, the exchange between us is personal with every piece I create. ”
Brooklyn Metal Works
640 Dean Street
Brooklyn, NY 11238