American artist Rashid Johnson creates jewellery... for 'anxious men'?

  • Style
  • Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

Jewels like rubies add a touch of colour to the deliberately messy lines of the American artist. Photo: Lizworks

While some men feel reticent about wearing jewellery on a daily basis, Rashid Johnson hopes to change that. The American artist has partnered with the Lizworks brand to design his first jewellery collection.

The result? Pieces that hover between objets d'art and jewellery through which Johnson revisits his series of artworks called Anxious Men.

Exhibited for the first time in 2015 at The Drawing Center in New York, the figurative portraits of the series question the perception and representation of black men in contemporary American society.

Themes that have become particularly salient in recent months as the death of George Floyd has sparked a historic movement of protest against racism and police violence in the US.

Read more: Fashion brands speak out against racism, in wake of George Floyd protests

While the portraits of Anxious Men were made with wax and black soap, the pieces in Johnson's new jewellery collection are crafted in 9-carat gold or titanium. Highlights include bold emblems rings and chunky cuff bracelets.

Some jewels are also embellished with rubies and small diamonds, which add a touch of colour to the deliberately messy lines of the American artist.

Read more: What is an emblem ring and why is it currently so popular with guys?

"When I draw I use lines as a way to construct new pathways to help explore where and how we are in the world today. Lines help unpack my emotional state," explained Johnson to the magazine Architectural Digest.

While the name of the collection Anxious Men addresses men directly, the pieces in Johnson's limited edition collection can be paired with a masculine or feminine wardrobe. They are designed for anyone who "has a point of view that fills the space," Liz Swig, creator of the brand Lizworks said, according to Vogue.

Although art lovers will have to pay between 5,000 and 18,500 dollars (RM20,600 to RM76,400) to buy one of the pieces of Anxious Men, Johnson announced that he will donate the profits from the collection to the associations Prep For Prep and Black Mental Health Alliance. AFP Relaxnews

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