“it is CRU­CIAL to EM­BRACE And un­der­stand the Cre­ativ­ity of the past. it gives More soul to Any Cre­ation And Links it to our COL­LEC­TIVE Mem­ory”

Philippine Tatler Homes - - STYLE -

author­ity, and there’s some­thing joy­ful about it. These are all of the el­e­ments you find in my body of work. I’m a Li­bra so I’m al­ways look­ing for har­mony. The cre­ative side (of me) fools around with sculp­tural con­cepts, shapes, and colours, and the other side makes it hap­pen pre­cisely.”

Per­fec­tion is a re­cur­ring theme in con­ver­sa­tions with Van der Straeten. He was quoted in a 2013 Wall Street Jour­nal pro­file say­ing he is “ob­sessed” with achiev­ing this lofty, sub­jec­tive ideal. Be­yond a strong con­cept with a high level of crafts­man­ship, he feels an ob­ject is flaw­less when it “at­tracts you and glows in a mys­te­ri­ous way.”

His in­fat­u­a­tion with per­fec­tion also stems from the fact that he be­gan his ca­reer as a jewellery de­signer. Since grad­u­at­ing from art school in 1985, he has made jewellery for Chris­tian Lacroix, Yves Saint Lau­rent, and his own epony­mous brand. “As a jewellery de­signer you work on a very small scale. You’re cre­at­ing some­thing pre­cious, some­thing worn by women, so you tend to think in terms of pre­ci­sion, soft­ness, move­ment. It has to be del­i­cate. You think in terms of tiny ob­jects, of de­tails that span half a mil­lime­tre, so when you be­gin work­ing on a larger scale, your ob­jects tend to keep this level of pre­cious­ness.”

Van der Straeten opened his gallery in the Marais dis­trict of Paris in 1999. By 2004, he had his own bronze and cab­i­net-mak­ing work­shops. He has al­ways worked for him­self: “I’m very lucky to have al­ways been in­de­pen­dent. It’s very sat­is­fy­ing as a de­signer to have to­tal free­dom over what you can do.”

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