Matters of Life & Death

7th July - 25th Sept 2011

Chair - mixed media

Chair made from crucifixes and frames
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Bernhard Lehner

I've always been interested in and fascinated by sticks and weapons, which are, so to say, the natural jewellery of small and big boys.

Maybe growing up in the rural Bavarian countryside is a root for this lasting obsession. Yet as an adult and artist, my aim is to transform this boyish/primitive jewellery in art and thereby real jewellery by deconstructing the original object.

I've bought Colts, Shotguns and even a Kalashnikov, sawn them in parts and made bracelets of them. It's a form of symbolic disarmament by preserving the jewellery status. Somehow the destructive energy of the weapon lasts in positive form in my work.

I don't see myself as an jewellery artist but as an artist whose work is to be seen (and worn) in close connection to the human body. To hell with art on walls. From the sticks to the jewellery to the furniture, it's always art to be touched, held and worn (and be seen on somebody’s body.)

Modern artists all had their trade mark outfits: Beuys' hat and vest, Warhol’s wig, Tom Wolfe’s white suits. But their work was something different - not the personal style, not the fashion. For me, my style, my jewellery, my sticks and my furniture is not separated from my art: It's my art, and so these categories merge.

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