Glittering bizarre: Agmes’ surrealist jewellery gains the upper hand
The mischievous designs of New York jewellers Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon take a Dalí-esque turn, with a soupçon of Man Ray along the way
Surrealist symbols hold an enduring appeal for Morgan and Jaclyn Solomon, the sisters behind New York-based jewellery brand Agmes. Their new collection of jewels explores the ambiguity of the human hand, a particular fascination of surrealists, who explored it abstractly as a symbol of both tenderness and terror.
The influence of Salvador Dalí and Man Ray is clear to see in the oversized proportions and slyly humorous design ticks of the sisters’ designs. Hands cast in sterling silver and yellow gold dangle from brooches, or cling mischievously onto earlobes, while globular pearls sway. On necklaces, thick ropes of irregularly sized pearls tease a hand waving ‘hello’ – when framed against graphic links of sterling silver, its meaning distorts again.
Adding to the magical mood, Dutch photographer Paul Kooiker’s eerie images capture the jewellery in sepia tones. ‘The hand can signify so many different things, and we decided to examine what the Agmes hand would look like to us. As female artists who work with our hands, ultimately, it symbolizes strength.’ §