Jewelry designer Daniel Brush, whose work has been featured on this blog, is an American jewelry artist and sculptor whose name may be unfamiliar to you, even though in-the-know jewelry specialists and collectors recognize him as one of the greatest living contemporary American jewelers. He’s on a level with JAR, you could say, though their aesthetics and personalities are quite different.
Notoriously publicity averse, Brush tends to fly under the radar—his choice—except among his longtime admirers and the elite group of private collectors who appreciate his intellectual, multidisciplinary approach and magician-like technical skills, both of which render his jewelry somewhere between adornment and high art.
You may have seen his work on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and at shows such as TEFAF (Brush is represented exclusively by New York rare jewels and art dealer Siegelson).
Despite the extreme exclusivity and scarcity of Daniel Brush’s product, the spotlight is shining on him at this precise moment.
Phillips is hosting an exhibition of Brush’s famous Actresses series at its Park Avenue location as part of NYC Jewelry Week 2019 (on view through Nov. 24), a rare opportunity to see this showcase of steel and diamond ID bracelets, each engraved with the names of the most iconic actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood (pictured below).
And leading the “Brush buzz” (a term the artist would no doubt abhor) is Daniel Brush: Jewels Sculpture ($65), a new title published last month by Rizzoli Electa. It’s the definitive compendium of the artist’s body of work over the last 50 years (inclusive of Actresses—head straight to page 136) and offers the reader an intimate glimpse into his creative process.
Written by renown jewelry author Vivienne Becker, the book is enlivened with compelling photography by Takaaki Matsumoto, principal and president of award-winning Matsumoto Inc., who shot and designed the book in close collaboration with Brush.
Van Cleef & Arpels CEO Nicolas Bos penned the book’s foreword; the acclaimed French jeweler has partnered with Brush on several collections, so Bos’ remarks come from both a place of deep knowledge and appreciation. “He has a certain excessiveness, but at the same time, his projects are serene and thoughtful,” Bos writes. “Part of the richness of Daniel’s objects and jewels lies in his fabulous talent for storytelling.”
The book introduces the uninitiated jewelry lover to Brush’s bold, expressive voice and his enduring signatures: sculptural cuffs and other adornments that reference antiquity but absolutely feel of this era, or even of the future, and an affinity for unconventional materials in jewelry. Aluminum is a metal dear to his DNA, but, as the book notes, he has also worked with aerospace rare earth magnets, Bakelite, Greek mosaic face beads, lava, mogul diamonds, swan’s down, and tungsten carbide.
It’s an altogether essential primer on one of the great American jewelry artists familiar only to the in-crowd. That is, until now.
So if you have the means and desire to acquire a Daniel Brush creation for your collection, get yourself something now before everyone else catches on.
Below are a few images from the book, with notes personally provided to JCK from Brush’s wife, Olivia, in the captions.
Top: The cover of Daniel Brush: Jewels Sculpture by Vivienne Becker (all photos: Takaaki Matsumoto © Rizzoli Electa, 2019)
Follow me on Instagram: @aelliott718Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine