Bold Perspectives: Licia Mattioli’s Jewels and Escher’s Impossible Constructions
This is how the career of a lawyer, gold-working, and contemporary art met, in a fantastic and dreamy rings' collection.
What could possibly connect a lawyer, some small precious stones and Escher’s impossible constructions?
This question has nothing to do with any strange riddle, but with the fanciful rings of “Rêve_r,” a new collection by Licia Mattioli, a lawyer with a strong passion for art, who combined all of these facets in her jewels’ collections. Licia Mattioli opened a contemporary art gallery in Turin, to help young artists to emerge, and, since 1995, she took over L’antica Ditta Marchisio, a time-honored gold firm acquired by her dad, Luciano. In 2000, the family renamed the firm to their family name and Licia created her jewels’ collections, which look at the greatest modern and contemporary art masters, such as Klimt, Mondrian, Dalì, Magritte, Seurat, Kandinsky and many more, including the last source of inspiration: Escher.
This is how the career of a lawyer, gold-working, and contemporary art met, in a fantastic and dreamy rings’ collection called “Rêve_r,” inspired by the works of the Dutch master. The French word “rêver” means “to dream,” or even “to daydream,” but the phonetically similar word “revers” means “inverse.” Hence, the title of this collection seems to play with the phonetic similarity of the two terms, referring both to the dream from which Licia Mattioli’s ideas were born and to the innovative nature of her jewels. Mattioli’s rings can be associated to Escher’s graphic works as both of them look at the world from unexpected perspectives. The novelty of the collection “Rêve_r” is that the precious stones are mounted upside-down, with their points up, whereas, normally, the pointed side of the stones would be hidden inside the setting of the jewel. White and black diamonds, rubies, and peridots are all mounted on yellow or rose gold, or on titanium settings, as though they were many little, shiny thorns. This idea came to Mattioli from the observation of nature and from her knowledge and passion for art. Nature inspired her during a journey in Brazil, where she was impressed by geodes, holes in the stone hiding natural crystals. And what about Escher’s art? What is it in his work that stimulated Licia Mattioli’s fantasy?
Undoubtedly, it was his impossible constructions, with upside-down ladders and ambiguous surfaces, which are simultaneously concave and convex. Escher and Mattioli are two eclectic characters with multiple interests, who are able to look at the world from a bold and unusual point of view. Mattioli mounted the stones of her rings face down, showing what is normally hidden, whereas Escher confronted the viewer with unexpected and disorienting perspectives through his creations. As a matter of fact, in some of his creations, what is below is also above, what is inside is also outside, ceilings are also floors. This is demonstrated by his lithography Relativity, where many little men go up and down the stairs, even if establishing who is going up and who is going down is actually impossible. In Convex and Concave, the volumes of the walls are confused and the observer cannot distinguish the protrusions from the deeper parts. Experimentation, will to wander, and the audacity to look at the world from a different angle: these are the characteristics that we find both in Mattioli’s collection “Rêve_r” and in Escher’s works.