Receiving his artistic education at Parsons School of Design, New York University, and the American Craft Institute, the jewelry of Barry Kieselstein-Cord hearkens back to his childhood infatuation with North American Indian art, the effects of time and the elements on various materials, and the inspiration drawn from nature when spending time on his farm located in New York’s Hudson Valley. These influences express themselves in bold, sparkling colors and designs that meld the stylistic sensibilities of distinctly different cultures. Today, these cultures include ancient Greek, contemporary European, and North American Indian influences.
The Golden Works of Kieselstein-Cord
Given that fashion belt buckles enjoy the status of ostentatious showpiece, Kieselstein-Cord tends to employ complicated geometrical designs and animal portraits in his work. These designs run the gamut of the horses and North American Indian designs one would expect in the American Southwest to fantastical Asian designs, dragons, and even walruses.
Always open to wide ranges of expression, some Kieselstein-Cord designs are simple, to the point of being a hemispherical loop of metal wherein one end of the loop looks like the outline of a snake’s head, when compared to the more ornate works his studio has produced. This bold ability to claim that something so simple is a worthy example of his art, even when compared to his incredibly detailed options, is part of what makes him such a dynamic and evergreen designer.
In contrast, the earrings and necklaces of Kieselstein-Cord, focus primarily on strong geometric patterns with periodic throwbacks to classical cultures. This makes these examples of his work easier to match with clothing and much more likely to be worn as a complementary piece rather than as a showpiece. This ability to produce complex pieces of work and not have them become the absolute focal point of an outfit again shows the talent present in this multifaceted man.