Friday, June 14, 2013

Jackalope Collective Interviews: Katja Toporski

In conjunction with our fundraising campaign, I'm going to run a series of brief interview with artists in our group so that you can get to know us and our work a little better. First up is Katja Toporski:

Education: MFA, Towson University
Lives/Works: In a home studio just outside Washington DC

What is your work about?

My work is based on the meaning we attribute to objects, both historical and found/ archetypal, with a strong emphasis on the materials they are presented in. In terms of process this means I do a lot of casting, often using materials not typically associated with jewelry like concrete and gelatin. Gelatin castings undergo an aging process when left in the air to dry out, implying them having a life cycle of their own. The forms I work with are largely determined by the objects themselves; tension in the composition comes from juxtaposition of related objects, and their presentation in a different context. My work investigates the role of jewelry in contemplating the human condition through research into historical jewelry formats and functions, and exploring their relevance today.

What are you looking forward to most about Amsterdam: The crowd!

What artists inspire you?: Wolfgang Laib, Joseph Beuys, Eva Hesse, to a lesser extent Cai Guo Qiang, jewelers: Ruudt Peters, Bernhard Schobinger, Iris Eichenberg, Manon van Kouswijk, Lisa Walker, Iris Bodemer, and many many others!

What's the best advise you were ever given about being an artist?: Do what you want to do- don't think about the marketplace! It's the only way to make authentic work and you will be successful because of that, not because you're out to please the audience.

Any final thoughts on Sieraad?:
Sieraad sounds like a great platform and very different from the fairs in the US. While I do feel located somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic with being German and living in the US, most of my jewelry career has been in the US and I am very curious about the 'European Experience'! There appears to be a gulf between the two and I see our participation in Sieraad as an attempt to bridge the gap and connect to European jewelry aficionados. Most of us fall under the category of emerging artists which means that this is an expensive trip for us to front. Any help in funding means a little less worry about the financial burden and a lot more freedom to make gorgeous jewelry!!

To support Katja and her amazing art (and the group as a whole), please check out our crowd source campaign. We've got several great rewards in exchange for donation dollars.

Thanks so much to Katja for your participation and thanks everyone for reading!!!!

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