It’s no secret that creative collaborations between lovers can transcend the realm of simply productive and enter that of the exquisite. Pairings like Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, Josef and Anni Albers, or Inez and Vinoodh are fine examples of the dynamic artistry that can come from such collaborative efforts. Offering a thoroughly modern and idiosyncratic take on this tradition are artist Jeremy Everett and jewellery designer Gaia Repossi, with new IDEA-published book Alternating Rose and Gold. Repossi cites the aforementioned partnerships as especially interesting for her and Everett; it seems that theirs is a relationship which – much like that of Mapplethorpe and Smith, et al – toes the line between that of artist and muse and a shared, collaborative effort.
According to Everett, whose photography fills the pages of Alternating Rose and Gold, the book is at once a “love letter [...] to Gaia” and “a reference book for the house of Repossi”; “I am always taking photos and as we travelled together I would photograph Gaia and her references,” he expands. These references, which are also ultimately shared memories and experiences, are boundless, and thus the book comprises travel, art, fashion and nature, with Repossi and the jewels she designs featuring often in the photographs. As such the images are somehow representative both of the aesthetic at the house of Repossi’s heart and of Everett’s own distinct practice. This aligning of creative visions is important because, as Repossi states, “they express a narrative that identifies that the brand; it’s the oxygen and the DNA of Repossi”.
The book’s title is an homage to American minimalist artist Dan Flavin. “Flavin studied combinations of colours in his works, their function with systems,” Repossi says. “Discovering them, combined with [Donald] Judd's work, I got the impression of seeing similarities to the systems of my own work.” The title’s allusion to precious metals is no mistake, either, as Repossi has found renown designing architectural jewellery composed of wonderfully varied materials, created and put together in wholly unexpected yet impossibly chic ways.
“There will always be a surprise in what I do – that I can promise,” Repossi told AnOther in a previous interview. What is not surprising is that Alternating Rose and Gold is nothing short of lovely, and evocative of the creative originality that Everett and Repossi evidently cherish. Everett’s photographs favour crisp hues and unexpected compositions, arranged in diptychs that are complementary without either casting a shadow over the other – much like their joint practice, one suspects. Angles and form play key roles here, too, with the intrigue of many of the images stemming from Everett’s relentless capturing of complex shapes and their textures.
“Jeremy and I started working together a long time ago,” says Repossi. “Since we met; first informally, later contractually. The process of imbricating both worlds is interesting, creating in the end one single result.” Everett elaborates that it “happened naturally, by spending so much time together, asking for each other’s opinions on certain things”. And that’s exactly the impression that Alternating Rose And Gold gives: of a seemingly inevitable and intimate body of work, a book that bears the striking individuality of both Repossi – the brand and the woman – and Everett, and yet has managed to become something entirely novel. It could only have been achieved by artists in love.
Alternating Rose And Gold is available now, published by IDEA.