Jewelry designer John Wind moves from maximalism to minimalism to exhibitionism.
Over the course of his 35-year career, Philadelphia artist John Wind (johnwind.com) has flirted with all kinds of aesthetics from the statement pieces of his maximal art jewelry/watch line in the ’80s to the distinctive Victorian vibes that defined his collections in the ’90s. The aughts ushered in high-end mass production propelled by Wind’s fresh take on charm jewelry. Today, the artist is focused on limited-production handmade pieces that radiate elegance.
“Modern vintage,” exclaims Wind, whose wearable treasures are part of the permanent collections of Victoria and Albert Museum, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs and Philadelphia Museum of Art, and were featured in Oprah’s “Favorite Things.” “Those two words guide everything. Both are moving targets, of course. When I started, vintage meant Victorian; now it means ’80s and our Punk It Up Collection. The time machine moves fast.”
This month, Wind reveals yet another side of his artistic abilities in the exhibit The Women (Nov. 14 to Dec. 14) for InLiquid Gallery. “I used to try and keep the worlds of jewelry and sculpture separate, down to having two business cards. Now, I’m looking for the overlap and synergy in those worlds.”
Sculpting in his new warehouse in what he describes as a “creative oasis” inspired by the spirit of his mother—regionally famed abstract artist Dina Wind, and the art foundation in her name—the younger Wind’s sculptural work channels her in that both are “assemblage artists, inspired by existing objects and collage,” he says.
With a look defined as “personalized mannequins,” he created a series of collaborative portraits of the women in his life using their mementos, like photographs, clothing and keepsakes. Says the artist, “I want the audience to feel like they got to know these wonderful women a little, then consider the role of objects in their own lives.”
Photography by: By Jillian Guyette