Sunday, September 28, 2008

Inspiration: Leonor Hipolito

I'm often asked who is my favorite photographer or which photographers do I look at for inspiration. I always have a difficult time answering this but not because I don't have a list of great photographers on the tip of my tongue but more because the images floating through my head at any given moment are not photographs per say but artwork which sparks my imagination.

So the best way for me to answer the question I thought would be to share my inspirations and what intrigues me so much about a specific piece.

My partner who is a metalsmith and jewelry designer is always introducing me to the work of artists in his field who share a common theme or thread with my own work.

Recently I discovered Leonor Hipolito–a Portugese artist whose pieces all reference the body although some more than others. Her series Transplants first caught my attention after seeing the pieces in the Lark publication 500 Pendents. While researching her online I found several of her jewelry pieces I was already familiar with and had seen online or in similar publications.

For me her ideas seem so simple yet the construction is exquisite, her forms imaginative and materials all the more intriguing. I desire to touch and wear them. Leonor's color choices also drew me to her work. Specifically the green in her piece In-corporation / Pin for the buttonhole . As well as the red used in Objects for Dreams / Earplugs/necklace. For me these pieces successfully reference the body and the medical world. Bright colors are mixed with silver or white. Epoxy is meshed with silver or silver paired with rubber. Again recalling the textures found in or on the body as well as in sterile medical environments.

I still know very little about Leonor but hope to learn more about this artist however most of the text is in Portuguese. I'd love to know where her interest lies, what inspires her and how she chooses her materials and forms.

At times I wish my work could simply reference the body rather than be the body itself. I find there is a limited audience for my work and I might increase that audience if the work was less shocking. For now though this is the vein I'm working in and as I mature and see new work I'm sure the work will change and evolve in to something smarter.