Colored Stones / Designers / Diamonds / Gold / Industry

Venyx Pays Homage to Man Ray in Capsule Collection of Luxe Surrealist Jewels


The 20th-century Surrealist artist Man Ray worked across mediums, creating paintings, photographs, films, and collages. But he never worked in jewelry.

Eugenie Niarchos, the designer behind London-based Venyx, saw an opportunity to change that. In mid-November, she introduced The Man Ray collection featuring nine limited-edition pieces inspired by three of his artworks—The Lovers (1936), Glass Tears (1932), and The Venus Restored (1936)—rendered in 18k gold, diamonds, gemstones, and enamel.

“I’ve always wanted to work with artists and Man Ray has always been an inspiration,” she told JCK at a press event at the Gagosian shop on Madison Avenue in New York City, where the collection is on sale through the end of the year.

Venyx x Man Ray lips pendant
Lips necklace in 18k yellow gold with enamel, $3,900

In a perfect complement to the launch, Gagosian is currently showing the exhibition “Seeing is Believing: Lee Miller and Friends,” a collection of photographs, paintings, sculptures, and works on paper that illuminate the relationship between Miller, a photographer and longtime muse to Man Ray, and the English Surrealist artist Roland Penrose. The exhibition includes a number of the works that inspired Niarchos.

The jewelry collection’s most iconic piece is a collar necklace on a silk cord dominated by pavé lips taken from The Lovers, a Man Ray painting that depicts a pair of elongated, crimson lips floating in the sky. Man Ray originally created the lips in 1933, following the breakup of his relationship with Miller.

Venyx x Man Ray two-finger ring
Two-finger ring in 18k gold with diamonds, sapphires, and enamel, $12,820

The lips also appear on a bold two-finger ring made of 18k gold, sapphires, diamonds, and enamel, as well as on a matching pendant.

Another Man Ray work, Venus Restored, a plaster cast of a headless Venus bound in ropes, appears in pendant form as a torso made of cocholong wrapped in gold tendrils. Venyx has created versions with and without diamonds.

Venyx x Man Ray Venus necklace
Venus Restored necklace in 18k gold with diamonds and cocholong, $16,460

“I did it in three different sizes,” Niarchos said.

The third Man Ray artwork Niarchos chose to celebrate is Glass Tears, a closeup photograph of a woman’s eyes with clear glass tears beneath them. “Translating a photo into a piece of jewelry was quite a challenge,” Niarchos said. “How do you make something that’s essentially 3D into a flat piece?”

Venyx x Man Ray collar
Torque necklace in 18k white gold with diamonds, mother-of-pearl, rock crystal, and enamel, $67,785

For the collar necklace, ring, and pendant inspired by Glass Tears, she used enamel, mother-of-pearl inlay, and rock crystal set in 18k white gold.

Venyx x Man Ray ring
Tears ring in 18k white gold with diamonds, mother-of-pearl, rock crystal, and enamel, $22,000

Reflecting on the line, Niarchos said that it made sense to produce it this year, which marks Venyx’s 10th anniversary. “I think it’s a good collection because it really represents me, what I’ve done, and where I’m at today,” she said.

Top: Lips cord necklace in 18k gold with diamonds, $60,425

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By: Victoria Gomelsky

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