Two ways of being a joyerus-antpofagus

Our contemporary Latin America is the product of a complex historical process that, for the last five hundred years or so, has been marked in various extents by foreign influences. Artists have certainly chewed on this for the last five hundred years or so… Latin Americans have reacted to foreign influences of the most diverse ways: from the both rebellious and humorous way in which the natives of Mesoamerica hide their symbols behind the imposed Christian ones to the brazen Pirateria (or piracy) that shines in street markets all over the continent… and everything in between.


Prehispanic motives hidden in the  decorations of the priests’s clothing in this mural paining at Convent of San Francisco de Acolman, Mexico.


Public destruction of 2 million copies of pirate CDs and DVDs, Mexico City, 2007

Jewelers react accordingly…



At the Iberjoya fair in Madrid, a Mexican jeweller was apprehended in her own booth for presenting a pirate collection of the dreaded Tous bears. The woman had the boldness to present her cheap copies in the mere country where the original brand was created (I really had to laugh about this!)



In 2008, Cuban artist and jeweller Jaime Alonso, launched his line ‘Pandora de los Pobres’ (or Pandora for the Poor): 100 matchboxes collected over 20 years, full with all kinds of small objects, also collected in as many years. Every object in each box relates to the others through Alonsos’s humorous discourses on a array of topics, all related with the Cubanness of the artist. All the object can be then attached to a chain, ring, bracelet that come practically packed with each matchbox.

Art is informed and influenced by virtually every single thing that surrounds us. Past and present, foreign or local, real or imaginary.  The same can be say of jewellery. Art and jewellery become fields where discarded object and ideas are hungrily consumed and then digested or regurgitated by artist from around the world… they reappear transformed, twisted, multiplied, reinvented or sometimes, sadly, simply copied…   A rich topic that Jose Manuel has placed on the table!

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