Growing up, the artist Cindy Sherman suffered from an acute case of charm-bracelet envy. “I didn’t have a lot of charms and I was very
jealous of friends of mine who had tons of charms on their
bracelets,” she said earlier this week at a launch party for the bracelet she and fellow art-world names had designed for a project called Charmed, in collaboration with the jewelry brand Ippolita and LizWorks — a company that connects artists with brands. “These are bigger and nicer,” she added, pointing to her egg charm — inspired by the flock of chickens she keeps at her house out on Long Island. (It opens like a locket to reveal two photographs she pulled from her archives.)
In addition to Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Shirin Neshat, Barbara Kruger, Rachel Feinstein, Mickalene Thomas, and Wangechi Mutu each contributed a charm to the piece. Kruger opted for a coin pendant that reads, in her signature font, “Money can buy you love,” while Thomas chose a pair of sparkling lips that recall the ones in her paintings. The all-female roster of artists was an intentional decision. “I selected them very much along the lines of my interest in the idea that all life is political and all art is political,” said designer Ippolita Rostagno. She worked with Liz Swig, the founder of LizWorks, to put together the group.
Rostagno said she wanted “women of a certain
generation, basically my generation, who for a lifetime have been involved in
the idea of exploring what it means to be civil and artistically driven in the contemporary political landscape.” Added Swig, “Each of these women is more exceptional than the next.”
Rostagno’s own design for the project spiraled into something much larger than wrist-size. “It started as a bracelet, then became a necklace,” she laughed, “then became a belt. Because it has, like, 100 charms on it.”