review by Ahna Adair
Since she began her art practice, Darcy Miro has covered an extensive territory with her metalwork. Her ability to adapt to various art markets is noteworthy, operating within the fields of fashion, design, art jewelry, and sculpture. Comfortable dwelling in the minute and the gigantic, her resume lists high profile projects such as her participation in the façade design of the American Folk Art Museum in 2001 with architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.
The collection showing at Shibumi Gallery consists primarily of pendants and cuffs with some earrings and rings interspersed. Their arrangement on a white exhibition table brings attention to the specimen like quality of the work and peering down at over 50 small abstract forms is not unlike a visit to the natural history museum. A slight break in continuum from her raw and imperfect aesthetic happens with the pendants strung on smooth black ribbon. Here the viewer is plainly reminded that these objects function as pieces of adornment.
vWhile the work is a cohesive body of jewelry, Miro does not identify as a jeweler, preferring instead the broader title of metal sculptor. Balancing between the mark of nature and that of the maker, her forms are intuitively constructed, translated first into wax and then cast in sterling silver and 18k yellow gold. The majority of the pieces in the show, far from pristine and highly polished, are treated with a dark patina, leaving solder and scorched metal exposed.
Her rich textures, referencing nature, architecture and the body, are a sultry marriage of the primordial and the high tech; what once was becomes tangled with what is. Each piece functions as a fleeting moment, a snapshot of the artist’s psyche as her conscious and unconscious observations of the day-to-day spill out onto the wax to eventually be made permanent in metal. Subtly sprinkled with black diamonds, the familiar sparkle acts as a sugarcoating as if to assure us that what we are looking at is beautiful. And it is.
Miro’s upcoming projects include installations at E.L. Butler in NYC, Art Basel in Miami and a large wall relief in Abu Dhabi.
Ahna Adair is a jeweler, artist and writer based in Oakland, CA.