Ted Noten - So much more than a bag
The Dutch designer Ted Noten designs the most exquisite jewellery in which jewels and art melt together. His work abandons conventional thoughts about jewellery, adding a whole new dimension to the craft.
Among his work are these extraordinary bags in which Noten loves to cast strange objects. Golden guns, a mouse wearing pearls called ‘Turbo Princess' and jewels frozen in the acrylate handbags, nothing is too crazy for Noten.
One condition: the design has to turn the prevailing expectations of what jewellery is, upside down. Work of Ted Noten is available at Gallery Rob Koudijs.
The jewellery designer Noten lifts symbols from their ordinary surroundings and places them in a new context. Noten doesn’t so much query symbols itself as our perception of it. He looks for fixed meanings in the banal and the cultivated. He debunks their essence, then reinvents them back into reality.
In affecting and infecting symbolic values he actually reveals their unmistakable intangibility. These hidden dimensions distinguish good conceptual works from mediocre ones.
Noten uses memories and traditions, which he gives a contemporary 'coating', to put them in another context.
Ted Noten, Love Bag, Photography Atelier Ted Noten. Available at Gallery Rob Koudijs.
"A pearl necklace? As the subject of a contemporary art event? I guess at the time I was infuriated by the idea that someone even dared ask me to join a group of designers who were invited to work with this most boring, bourgeois icon in the whole history of jewellery: a string of pearls. I’d rather hang myself with them!
It was this state of mind that made me decide to pick up a dead mouse I spotted in the corner of my studio. They wanted a string of pearls? Well then they would get exactly that. I named her Princess to help the audience understand the love that was lost on her. When the next day the Society for Protection of Animals turned up on my doorstep.The fairy tale ended almost as violently as it began."
Ted Noten, Turbo Princess, 1995. Photography: Atelier Ted Noten.
The so called ‘gun bags’ by Ted Noten. Real gold-plated guns in acrylic blocks shaped into elegant handbags. ‘Design against Crime’ as Noten calls this series is the perfect motto for this work, presenting aggressive objects in an elegant and stylish cover. With a fired bullet as if frozen in time.
Ted Noten, Lady K Bag. Photography: Atelier Ted Noten.