Victoire de Castellene at Gagosian Paris

Amanita Satana Diabolus, 2010 (image from Gagosian Gallery website)
Lacquered silver, white gold, yellow gold, opals, colored sapphires, mandarin garnets, spinels, diamonds, petrified wood
Necklace: 10 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches (25.8 x 16 cm) With base: 5 x 12 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches (12.5 cm x 31 x 21 cm)
Dreamy show "Fleurs d’excès" opens tonight at the Gagosian in Paris (Mar 2-22, 2011) of former Chanel designer, now jewelry creative director at Dior, Victoire de Castellane's amazing pieces. I have always admired her work, and consistent use of pop art and imagery infused into a most traditional craft.
From the press release:
Indifferent to convention though passionate about history and technical challenge, de Castellane’s ideas are driven by an exuberant imagination, deriving from sources as diverse as the élan vital of the natural world and the synthetic wonders of Technicolor; the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney; voluptuous Hollywood screen idols and manga characters; the trash and fizz of pop culture and the darkest depths of the subconscious. The astonishing results blur the distinctions between the real and the artificial, the beautiful and the grotesque, the subtle and the excessively baroque. Provocative in form and content, de Castellane has created perverse treasures for the times in which we live.
Hallucinatory drugs and their promise of mind-expansion have fascinated and inspired artists the world over. De Castellane’s flowers are intoxicating, but also dangerous because of the poisons that they secrete. Here they personify the Romantic idea of women “under the influence” in a compendium of phantasmagorical specimens with faux-classificatory names, such as Heroïna
Romanticam Dolorosa
and Crystalucinae Metha Agressiva.

I start with a story, a world, never with the material. I find my stories in everything I observe and experience -- rebellion, love, sexuality, pleasure, violence, protection, psychoanalysis, and my taste for fairy tales…--Victoire de Castellane