Kellie Riggs was born in 1986 and grew up on Whidbey Island, WA. She is a recent Fulbright Grantee based in Italy where she maintains a studio practice and continues her research on contemporary jewelry’s relation to the visual arts. She received a BFA in Jewelry + Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and is the founder of www.greater-than-or-equal-to.com.
Jeweler Adam Grinovich trying on someone’s Rolex at Schmucksymposium Zimmerhof, Bad Rappenau, Germany
Toward the end of the Q&A portion of the talk he gave during Zimmerhof 2015, Adam confessed that he had recently acquired a crazy obsession with getting a Rolex. This came after a hearty presentation about what it means to be iconic, or an icon. Celebrity, cultural idealism, luxury versus the commonplace, glamour, and myths were spoken of. An icon, Adam stated, is a sign whose form directly reflects the thing it signifies, like diamonds, or even blue jeans. “A variety of things can find their legitimacy by aligning themselves with the form of the icon. There is a reality within its nature that allows the fake to become real.” Fake diamonds are diamonds, for example. Pursuing this line of thoughts, he made a point about derivative pleasures, wondering if it might be possible to like music without actually listening to it, by “becoming enamored with the collateral, the culture, the idea of it all.”
Although he said that purchasing a real Rolex would be the best thing, Adam would consider buying a fake one. “I don’t know what’s going on inside me, whether I really need that, or if I need the idea of that,” he said. Someone asked if he would build up a different relationship to the real one or the fake one, if he would wear them differently. He said he probably would, that knowing it was fake might ruin the whole thing. He then left us with a cliffhanger, saying, “or maybe it wouldn’t.”
Pictured, Adam tries on a real Rolex. The look on his face might be saying it all.
Lessons tracks a small roster of AJF contributors as they look, shoot, and reflect on what they see. Our first guest reporter is Kellie Riggs, who finds inspiration in meeting artists, hearing them talk, and, in one instance, discussing the watch of their dreams.