A few weeks ago, I discovered the wonderful work of Jennifer Crupi while visiting the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design.
Part prosthesis, part fine jewelery, the collection hits a sweet-spot between art, craftsmanship, and critical design.
The Ornamental Hands series treats the hands themselves as jewels, set in sterling silver in delicate, lady-like positions. The wearer is trained to daintily bend her thumb or raise her pinky finger – a wonderful juxtaposition between the lady-like gestures and the rigid, surgical qualities of the jewelery.
Already an established artist, Jennifer Crupi’s work is well-researched and thoughtfully presented in the exhibition. Figure Three of the Ornamental Hands series is shown above below being worn. The photo below is the display stand for the same piece with historical illustrations showing examples of the gesture. The contrast between the delicate gesture and the hard metal instrument is emphasized and reminds us of the strict social norms that frequently dictate body language.
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