Die Ringe des Karl Fritsch
Munich: Braunbook Publisher, 2009
Technical data: 100 pages colour images and black and white images, size 22.5 x 15 cm
Not for sale at Klimt02
What I find really fascinating, and one of the reasons why it’s so interesting to make jewellery, is the moment of recognition when something that comes across as cute and pretty, has on second glimpse an almost obscene grotesqueness. I would say this quality probably works best in jewellery, where politeness and cold-blooded anger can clash mercilessly into one another.
In George Perec's novel A Void, which he wrote entirely without the letter 'e', there's a story about a ring. Perec compares it to a scab, because it has almost become part of the body with age and wear. Karl Fritsch's rings have that quality. It's like inverse alchemy. He uses precious materials and turns them into childish, rough objects that look like they've come out of a candy machine. They're so immediate you can see the fingerprints. A Karl Fritsch ring is like an heirloom, something your great-grandmother might have worn.