Thursday, 15 December 2011

A closer look to SEVAN Biçakçi

These pieces are part of the current ART ROCKS exhibition at Shizaru Gallery in London, curated by Joanna Hardy and no better than her words to take us through this extraordinary journey of unique jewellery. Sevan's originality and reverse intaglios have earned him a place amongst the masters!

 God of us Goldsmiths / Birth of Athena, 2010
Gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, amethyst, pearls, paintings by Hasan Kale portraying the witnesses at the birth of Goddess Athena


"Considered a troublemaker at school, Biçakçi was apprenticed to a local master goldsmith in his early teenage years. It was here his creativity came into development, and aged only eighteen, he began his own goldsmithing venture with two partners producing works for extraneous jewellery manufacturers. Ten years later the business was forced to close, opening new doors and a fresh platform from which he was able to exercise his creativity. His primary point of reference became the city in which he lived, Istanbul, as in his own words, ʻI wanted to put Istanbulʼs spirit into jewellery.ʼ In 2002 Biçakçi began his own bespoke jewellery range.
Biçakçi describes his work as, ʻthe Byzantine Emperor and the Ottoman Sultan meet Alice in Wonderland.ʼ Each piece is a collusion of various disciplines, including painting, calligraphy, enamelling, sculpting, metal chasing and notably micro-mosaicking. This is a painstaking process once widely practiced in Istanbul and often appearing in 18th and 19th century jewellery. It consists of using tiny tesserae of glass and stone to create a miniature mosaic with which Biçakçi adorns his work, referencing in an unprecedented way Turkeyʼs rich history with the art form. Each piece uses around 7,000 tesserae, requiring enormous concentration, patience and dedication.
Biçakçiʼs most notable trademark is his masterful use of reverse intaglio jewellery, which finds its roots in ancient Mesopotamian history. Here Biçakçi carves and paints the reverse of a gemstone, creating elaborate and magnificent architectural scenes either representing Turkish landmarks or merely from his own imagination.
Biçakçiʼs work, while rich in historical context and made using traditional methods (the only modern device in his studio is a laser metal welder), still manages to maintain a contemporary feel. The pieces appear to evade time, existing in their own miniature universe to which the collector may bring his own interpretation.
Sevan Biçakçi is the recipient of various awards, including the Tanzanite Foundation Award for Best Independent Design of 2007, as well as winning the Town & Country Couture Gemstone Award three years in a row."

Hagia Sophia, 2010 
gold, silver, diamonds, smoky topaz with
engraved intaglio inspired by Hagia Sophia 

Virgin Mary, 2011
gold, silver, diamonds, citrine with engraved intaglio

of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus

Byzance, 2007
Gold, silver, diamonds, micro-mosaic, lemon topaz with engraved intaglio inspired by byzantine churches 

City of the Gazelles, 2010
gold, silver, diamonds, moonstone with engraved

intaglio inspired by islamic architecture