When I ran the gallery, if an artist approached me with work and then proclaimed the work wasn’t for sale after I expressed interest, I immediately pegged him or her as an amateur, not an artist.
Such is the case with Noa Zilberman, an Israeli “artist” who, according one website is taking an artistic stand against our preoccupation with aging skin with jewelry pieces that “emphasize, beautify and celebrate her wrinkles.”
The artist apparently released a video tape which you can see by clicking the link.
Now here is where I get irritated. The work has some potential. The concept of celebrating aging is not new, of course, but some of the designs are interesting and could appeal to buyers of studio jewelry.
So when she announces that the work is not for sale, it’s irritating on several levels.
First and most obvious, sales increase the name recognition of the artist and lead to other sales. So on a personal and very critical level, sales help the artist continue to create.
Just as important sales get those concepts out into the marketplace of ideas. No, I’m not suggesting anyone could or should steal her design, but all artists share ideas. It’s an important part of the creative process.
In addition, I strongly believe that studio jewelry is a form of art and that the public should be educated its value and importance. I also believe that studio or art jewelers who aspire to be recognized as such have an obligation to get their work out there so people can see it and learn to appreciate it.
Keeping it in the vault for your private enjoyment advances none of these goals.