Promoting Contemporary Art Jewelry since 2009

End of last year, Lluis Comin, owner of « 66 Mistral Gallery » asked me to be present in his exhibition in 2017, and it was for me a big surprise and a huge honor to show my work in his gallery. Despite what a lot of people think, I was born in Barcelona and lived about twenty seven years in this gallery neighborhood, just the street behind. When I was young, I used to go to this gallery admire the work of Lluis, this making me grow the desire to be jeweler. This opportunity to show in Lluis place was for me a big challenge, obliging me to go back to the bench, a desired moment but also feared.  Since last years, make a jewel tears me, and I’m always postponing this moment.

For the second consecutive year the gallery presents « A flor de pell 2017 ». In this exhibition of contemporary jewelery you can see the work of 13 jewelers with very different approaches ……. What is the common point of these artists ? They understand the jewel as an object which is not only a mere decoration, but takes the way of the art.

« 66 mistral gallery » is a fancy small gallery, beside Lluis Comin shop. It is an elegant space, few showcases with dim light, breathing luxury. It is a place where a work of art reaches the magnificent. Not easy to make talk together the work of 13 artists so different, Lluis did it to perfection, the visitor travels from one to other easily, the magic makes the difference.

After visiting this exhibition, I wanted to know more about the owner, Lluis Comin, and I decided to put him some questions about his work.

Lluis, what is your path in contemporary jewelry and jewelry in general ? With the years I have, this question would require almost a biography ….. In summary, I was born as a jeweler at my father’s workshop, learning the work of jeweler in a natural and simple way. From very young I knew I wanted to do different jewelry, express freely, making works where ostentation was not present. I did my education at the Escola Massana and Ramon Puig helped me to canalize these concerns. It was in the late 70s, with many hopes, dreams and exhibitions, as the « Jewels of Catalonia » in Schmukmuseum, Pforzeim. In the mid 80s I had to leave the contemporary jewelry to be fully dedicate to the family business, until 2014 where I felt the need to redo works with more artistic content …….. and here I am again … as an « old rocker »

You work the metal, being the « basic » material in your work. Why this ? It is true, my base material is the metal, although I add all kinds of materials to it. This is for several reasons: First, this is a kind of respect and tribute to my father. Second, the metal is the material I dominate the most and I prefer to use the few time I have to work with it than investigate new materials. Third, there’s a kind of forgetting of the traditional craft, and it is clear for me that I want to « break » from tradition and metal …

When did you decide to open a gallery dedicated to the art jewelry and why ? How satisfied are you the acceptance of this art I opened the gallery shortly after coming back to contemporary jewelery, and I did it to promote my wearable art work as well the one of other artists, but the results are slow here in southern Europe. I think there are very talented artists but it is very difficult to understand that a jewel can be something more than just ornamentation.

Do you think there is still a long way to accept a jewel as a portable sculpture ? I think that the countries of northern Europe take us much advantage, there are several factors that differentiate us, on the one hand the cultural and economic level and in many cases the support of institutions and schools with more resources here and the economic crisis even more, culture is a child.

What do you think could be the triggering that could make the general public starts to change their mind and accept that a jewels is not just (precious) metal and stones ? Honestly, I find difficult to know what can help to understand our art, the word « jewel » closely links to luxury and material value. I think it would be very important that traditional art galleries, as well as museums, devote exhibitions to jewelery as art, even if I can say that I have the honor have pieces in the Museum of Montserrat. I think all these factors gradually could help to reach this goal.

Why did you call the exhibition « A flor de pell  » ? For me to have sensitivity helps me to create …. I think tenderness and emotion bring us together. In fact, the art is a factor of communication and an universal language.

« A flor de pell » shows the work of Alina Carp, Carme Roher, Erato Kouloubi, Ignasi Cavaller, Imma Batalla, Juan Riusech, Lluís Comín, Mireia Calaf, Montserrat Lacomba, Niki Stylianou, Rosa Nogués, Sergio Spivach& Stefano Spivach & Sílvia Serra.

Some of the artists during the opening (left to right) : Silvia Serra, Mireia Calaf, Rosa Freixas, Lluis Comin, Ignasi Cavaller, Juan Riusech & Montserrat Lacomba. Photo Lluis Comin.

About the author

Juan Riusech | Juan Riusech created in 2009 the organization Alliages to promote the Contemporary Art Jewelry and educate the people to it. To achieve this, Juan Riusech travels the world in search of new talents, organizing exhibitions and other events worldwide. Not really known as jeweler, Juan Riusech creates jewels since 2004 and participates to international exhibitions. In recent years, most of his work revolves around a single theme, the heart, as source of life or death.

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