Coreen Cordova interprets Michael Scott

Chunky Charms From Buffalo Bill’s Pawn

Its Southwestern style gone mainstream – but Cher has nothing to do with it. This season, chunky oversize charm necklaces come with a Santa Fe twist,  especially new necklaces by eminent jewelry designer Coreen Cordova, who found that the necklace charms are a moving tableau in pendants for grown-ups. The charms represent animals, cowboys and Indians, pistols, buffalos and flowers. Not just any pistols and flowers – but precisely the ones that animated painter Michael Scotts “Buffalo Bulbs Wild West Show” exhibit of  40 paintings shown in Santa Fe at Gerald Peters Gallery last year.  In a new twist on art as literally wearable, the images of the paintings got re-interpreted as jewelry decals you can handle, wear, and yes, use to tell stories. The symbols are sheathed in sterling and hand-fabricated in Mexico, and they conjoin those icons of the Buffalo Bill show with, yes, tulip bulbs. How come? Because, in some cases, the substance is the style.

In homage to the famed showman, Buffalo Bill Cody, Michael  Scott depicted his flamboyant subject as the consummate showman and self promoter. Meanwhile in Holland (from whence the artists painting style) tulip bulbs were so precious they once were legal tender, passed as the “gold standard” of commerce. Put together iconographically, the strange pairing alludes to Americas love affair with money, illusion and self-deception. Part satire, part social commentary.

Michael Scott studio

Enter Coreen Cordova. Select images extracted from some works have been transformed into individual necklace pendants of bone, resin or Lucite,. Some paintings have been miniaturized in full  to postage-stamp size “jewels,” their messages intensified. Sixteen charms comprise a complete limited edition necklace ($3200.00). Collectors and art aficionados who prefer a portable art acquisition for a fraction of the price of a painted tableau are in essence striking out into the new frontier, the painting worn by its audience.

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