Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Otto Jakob: Artisan Craftsman of Baroque Aesthetics?

Otto Jakob

While reading the International Herald Tribune yesterday, I came across the above image, along with five others, each striking in its own way, all of them crafted by the master artisan Otto Jakob, depicted for an article, by Nazanin Lankarani, titled "Drawing inspiration from natural beauty and artistic mastery" (March 18, 2013), but since the article isn't yet online, I cannot link to it, so I've gone directly to the website of Otto Jakob for the image, which is described there as follows:
Enameled and gold painted hand pendant in yellow gold, wearing two tiny diamond rings and holding an enameled chameleon
Herr Jakob is a man of few words in this description, but he does add that this pendant is "one of a kind." I suspected as much. Ms. Lankarani offers a bit more on the uniqueness of Jakob's works:
On average, each one-of-a-kind piece takes nearly 100 hours to make.
Lankarani refers to these pieces as "baroque creations," but after looking at many more images on Jakob's website, I think this label fits only some of his works. Jakob, incidentally, has an interesting backstory. He set out to become a painter and studied under Georg Baselitz in Munich, only to realize after three years that he would never develop into an important artist in that field, so he stopped at 27 and within a few weeks had found his calling by drawing upon a childhood fascination with making things, which generated "a burst of creativity that guided his hands for the next three decades," as Lankarani puts it.

His old mentor, Baselitz, purchased some of the early pieces and introduced him to the art dealer Hans Neuendorf, and Jakob had his path paved with gold . . . and silver, and gems, and everything fine that you can gaze upon at his website . . .



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