© 2012 gabriel craig
The Narcissist Series began with two observations. First, that much contemporary international art jewelry seemed to conform to an archetypal visual language, and second, contemporary international art jewelry — as practiced in the United States — is largely an insular and academic activity. Sustained research into the prevailing aesthetic trends of contemporary international art jewelry led to the creation of a series of rings which prominently featured rendered images of the rings themselves. Frustrated with the insular nature of the whole endeavor (the form language, the seriousness and especially the pedantry) I devised a system to contextualize the rings in relation to their academic origin. Beginning with a short play about academic jewelry making (documented later as a video), then proceeding with self-referential imagery and printed materials, I drew attention to the self-importance and pretension that academic jewelry often exudes, despite being an extremely marginal form of cultural production in general. All the while I used myself and the jewelry objects as the vehicle for this examination, insisting that satirical self-flagellation through over the top narcissism can be funny.