Karl Fritsch is a point of reference for contemporary jewelry and looking at his work is, you’ll understand why.
Born in Germany and currently living in Wellington, New Zealand, his work has been on display all over the world and forms a part of collections in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York,Victoria and Albert Museum London, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Pinakothek der Moderne Munich, Te Papa National Museum Wellington, and many more.
To talk about Karl Fritsch is to enter a world of disordered and colorist pieces that scream artisanry, modernity and fun.
Here at So Catchy! Where Fashion Begins, we were fortunate enough to talk with him recently and this is what he had to say.
SO CATCHY!: It isn’t difficult to find your work on the Internet but you don’t have a website or even social media that we can follow.
KARL FRITSCH: I do think about it now and then but then I rather go to my studio and make more work.
Also when I do an ego Google and put my name in the Google box there is actually plenty of info and images coming up.
SC!: You’re a friend of Philip Sajet, when did you meet for the first time? Have you collaborated in some way?
KF: I think the first time we met was about 20 years ago when we had a exhibition together at Galerie Sophie Lachaert in Tielrode (Belgium), but I don’t remember talking much with Philip back then.
In 2011 I visited him and Beate at their home in Bruchkobel and it felt like we had known each other for a long time without really having had much contact.
We don’t collaborate. A few months ago Philip sent me some niello he was working with and I really enjoyed having a play with it. Thank you, Philip.
SC!: Your style is very recognizable, would you dare to describe your style in a few words?
KF: Not like Friedrich Becker.
SC!: The best part of being a jewelry designer… and the worst?
KF: Best: making something that did not exist before
Worst: making a pricelist.
SC!: What do you want to tell people with your work?
KF: You are special.
SC!: Tell us about your design and making process…
KF: It is a continuous process that branches out since I first started. It feeds from the information I collect through all my making and from one ring to the other. There are always rings/things/ideas waiting for me in my workshop to be continued.
SC!: What do you do to find inspiration? Do you have an idea of what you are going to design when you start a new piece?
KF: Sometimes I have ideas and I incorporate them into my making process but also ideas come through making.
SC!: A piece of jewelry you always wear (if any)…
KF: I try on all my rings.
SC!: Material you normally work with and why…
KF: I used to love working with soft wax as it allows me to be very spontaneous and intuitive and instantly captures all my moves and moods, and then cast it in metal.
Lately, I really enjoy working straight with metal, gold, silver, as it offers a bit more resistance and it is more physical.
SC!: Are there any jewelry Designers or artists you truly admire?
KF: Franz West, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Warwick Freeman, Jutta Kallfelz.
SC!: Your next challenge is…
KF: The next ring.
SC!: Your impossible dream is…
KF: Being a Ballet Dancer.
SC!: A person you would love to wear one of your pieces…if any
KF: Lady Gaga, Nick Cave, Charlize Theron, Johnny Depp, Kaethe Kollwitz, Barry Flannagan, James Joyce, Kim Kardashian, M.A. Numinnen,
SC!: A list of galleries where we can buy your pieces…
KF: Hamish McKay Gallery (Wellington), Fingers Gallery (Auckland, NZ), Gallery Funaki (Melbourne, Australia), Deux Poisson (Tokyo), Gallery Ra (Amsterdam), Galerie Rose Jäger (Hochheim, Germany), Galerie Biro (Munich), Gallery Van Hoek (Antwerp), Jewelerswerk Gallery (Washington, USA), Klimt Gallery (Barcelona), The National (Christchurch, New Zealand), Dziuba Jeweles (Berlin), Salon 94 (New York).
SC!: What do you think about 3D printed jewelry, I mean, what is, in your opinion, the future of jewelry?
KF: I am sure some people will be able to make good work with new technology.
KF: Football, fishing, running around the bays …
SC!: A place to live and design….
KF: Still happy where I am at the momento.
All images courtesy of Karl Fritsch
Translation and Layout by Michael Padilla