When Sotheby’s invited Fernando Jorge to show his jewelry in a solo exhibit during its modern and contemporary art week, the Brazilian designer said it was a chance to get even more adventurous and experiment with new elements.
The result is an artistic 16-piece capsule collection, which pairs natural diamonds with pebbles, chunks of marble, and carved hard stones. The exhibition is on view through November 20 in New York, and will travel to Sotheby’s galleries in London, Dubai, and Zurich in 2024.
It could easily be classified as contemporary works of wearable art: each one-of-a-kind piece is a blend of eye-catching tone-on-tone colors, textures, and a play of light. They are voluminous in scale yet enticingly curvaceous and tactile.
It’s an evolution of Jorge’s work, which is characterized by effortlessly sensuous gold, diamond and gemstone designs that are remarkably supple, like the Fluid collection’s draping necklaces and earrings. There’s also his signature Stream collection, which evokes liquid streams of water swirling and contouring around the body. Nothing is hard-edged; everything is curvaceous and often with a sense of movement.
For the Sotheby’s exhibit, rather than creating the rounded shapes in gold or carved stones, he turned to nature.
He sourced the earthy brown pebbles from a Brazilian park, where diamonds were once unearthed in the riverbed, and arranged the bulbous shapes in a cuff, ring, and earrings, and set matching brown diamonds between them like points of light wedged in a mountain of boulders.
In a similar style, he used spherical white marble rocks interspersed with white diamonds in jewelry designs that, despite their scale, are subdued in their all-white and natural composition.
The designer created a conversation with the world’s most precious jewels and humble materials. There’s an exceptional fancy yellow diamond set in yellow ring made of carved fossilized amber. An exquisite emerald is encased in a matching green malachite ring.
It’s also a deeply personal expression that originated in his native Brazil. The designs and shapes reference his country’s effortless sensuality and laidback attitude. In addition to the pebbles, many of the elements were sourced in Brazil and all the pieces were carved by a family of artisans in São Paulo and produced in Jorge’s local workshop.
It’s been in the works for nearly two years since Jorge met with Sotheby’s team and they invited to create an exclusive collection for the auction house.
“Just when I think I’ve seen everything possible in the world of jewelry design, Fernando produces something entirely new that keeps me endlessly inspired,” said Frank Everett, Sotheby’s vice chairman of jewelry.
Jorge’s contemporary designs are particularly relevant today when people are increasingly seeking jewelry that appears effortless, elegant, and generally not fussy or too showy.
Jorge is a seasoned jeweler who spent 10 years designing for Brazilian jewelers, before moving to London to earn an MA in Jewelry Design at Central Saint Martins. In 2010, he was ready to make his own mark with his eponymous collection. And his following keeps growing.
It’s been a big year for the designer, who opened a stylish by-appointment salon in London’s Mayfair, where clients can see his complete universe of designs. He divides his time between London and São Paulo.
He already has a cultish following in America and Europe who collect his pieces, but the Sotheby’s exhibit during contemporary art week will likely draw a new client who is looking for something outside of classic diamond jewelry.