AC+D Visiting Artist: Anya Kivarkis!!

January 14, 2020

Anya Kivarkis’ work has moved through the replication of jewelry appropriated from archives of history, the Internet, and film. She has sourced film stills, contemporary fashion photography, representations of jewelry in Baroque portrait paintings, and contemporary paparazzi photographs of celebrities. Movies and photographs interest her because they portray a façade of glamour that we can imagine inhabiting. In a similar way, jewelry elicits desire, and as material culture, embodies our assumed aspirations. From appropriated images, she isolates and meticulously recreates the jewelry that is depicted. In silver, replicating only what is observable of the worn jewelry as they are mediated through their representations. She builds the qualities of the represented object such as the obstruction and gesture of the wearer’s body, the cropping of the frame, blurriness, accumulations of glare, and sequential and perspectival views into the remade objects, themselves. Her intention is for these jewelry objects to address our inability to fulfill our desire in coveting luxury goods. We fail to connect to their originals because they are direct replicas of their representations. We can wear recreated earrings for example, but they have the gesture of the celebrities’ bodies embedded into the jewelry, so they hang askew, backwards, or incomplete, ultimately becoming a distorted version of themselves, always mediated by her translation of them.

Kivarkis is currently an Associate Professor and Area Head of Jewelry and Metalsmithing at the University of Oregon in Eugene. She received a BFA in Jewelry & Metalsmithing from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana in 1999, and an MFA in Metal from the State University of New York in New Paltz in 2004. Exhibitions include ‘Site Effects, Curated by Anja Eichler and Katja Toporski, ‘Time and the Other’ with Mike Bray at Sienna Patti at The Firehouse at Fort Mason Center for Art and Culture (San Francisco), and ‘A View from the Jewelers Bench: Ancient Treasures, Contemporary Statements,’ curated by Sasha Nixon at the Bard Graduate Center (New York). Kivarkis was a recipient of the Sienna Gallery Emerging Artist Award (2007), a Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts (2016), a University of Oregon, Faculty Excellence Award (2014), multiple Individual Artists Fellowships and Career Opportunity Grants supported by the Oregon Arts Commission and the Hallie Ford Foundation, and a Rotasa Foundation grant (2007) to support the publication of ‘The Thinking Body,’ an exhibition co-curated with Kate Wagle. She has been a visiting artist and lectured at institutions including SUNY, New Paltz, Cranbrook Academy of Art, University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and Madison, Rhode Island School of Design, and University of Georgia in Athens. She has coordinated and participated on numerous Educators’ Dialogue panels at the Society of North American Goldsmiths Conferences. She has been included in publications such as Metalsmith, American Craft, and Italian Elle Magazines. Her work has been included in collections such as the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Tacoma Art Museum, The Rotasa Foundation, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland. She is represented by Sienna Patti in Lenox, Massachusetts and Galerie Rob Koudijs in the Netherlands.