Metal Heads-Another artists great interpretation of the concept of jewelry as sculpture

Richard Burbridge’s Riff on Frida Kahlo

This May, Survivor, an early work by Frida Kahlo, will come up for auction at Christies. It is the first time the painting has been on sale since it was first exhibited as part of the Mexican artist’s debut solo show in 1938. The estimate for this palm-sized piece? A cool $150,000—attesting to the enduring popularity and power of Kahlo’s work. For today’s exclusive shoot, photographer Richard Burbridge—whose high-gloss portraits regularly the grace the pages (and covers) of magazines such as Italian Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and i-D—offers his own take on Kahlo’s iconic personal style and tortured, vibrantly self-aware spirit. His portraits feature wearable art by New York-based sisters Annette and Phoebe Stephens, whose jewelry line Anndra Neen was launched last year and has since been picked up by Barney’s and Kirna Zabete. “We’re interested in the idea of jewelry as sculpture,” says Phoebe. “Although you may wear it against your body, it can be seen as something different.” Jewelry design is in the Stephens DNA: their grandmother, Annette Nancarrow, wife of avant-garde composer Conlon Nancarrow, was a well-respected painter and sculptor whose bijoux adorned illustrious figures including Kahlo herself, Peggy Guggenheim and Helena Rubenstein. The sisters’ rough-hewn rings, cuffs, necklaces and clutches—handcrafted in copper and nickel in Mexico City—are inspired in part by their grandmother’s work, but also reference bedouin motifs, French medieval armor and the architecture of modernist giants like Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. As a result, the pieces have a militaristic, pugnacious quality and a raw beauty, both heightened in Burbridge’s black-and-white Kahlo homage.

Photography Richard Burbridge
Styling Robbie Spencer
Hair Duffy at Tim Howard Management
Make up Francelle at Art and Commerce
Model Jenny Sinkaberg IMG
Photographic Assistants Michael Hauptman and Jeff Henrikson
Styling Assistants Jessica Bobince and Elizabeth Fraser-Bell
Make up Assistant Andrew D’Angelo
Production Etta Meyer at Art and Commerce

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3 Responses to “Metal Heads-Another artists great interpretation of the concept of jewelry as sculpture”

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