Have you ever seen a ring that has the power to impose an attitude? Jewelry pieces by artist Jovana Djuric are coded to emit female power
Jovana’s ring is like a bird that landed on a hand in that very moment – it’s wings widespread with each feather shivering. Motion inspires this artist and designer who’s been living in New York for two decades now. After her sculpture studies she continued studying in New York where she now lives and creates. Recognizable for her jewelry, more precisely for her rings which she enjoys creating the most, because the hand moves the most. Metals are her obsession, with the focus on strength and adamancy. Women who wear Jovana’s jewelry are special, how she says “they are intrigued with discovering their strength and giving it value”. This interview came into existence during her travels through Mexico, where this amazing artist took in their “interpretation of baroque and Jesus’s suffering, colorful food and textiles and people’s beauty”.
One thing that is for sure is that a women who choses Jovana’s jewelry enjoys being different and playing with herself.
Does the choice of jewelry define someone’s style?
Definitely. We reveal our preferences through details: which trend we follow and why; what we care for, how we feel, how we see ourselves – all those answers are what makes style. Jewelry is coded more than one would think, it isn’t just decoration. And decoration isn’t style. Style is an attitude towards life and values, and how willing are we to promote them or play with them; the ease when choosing and playing is a necessary part of the style-jewelry story.
How often does someone’s choice of attire mismatch your ring which resembles a bird that just landed or looks like a claw?
I must admit that I haven’t been in a situation in which I saw someone wearing my ring and me not liking it. It’s interesting because my jewelry is pretty specific, and looks like a bird, is open to adaptation and at the same time, to imposing it’s attitude. Therefore there can’t be much mistake.
We have been out of our naturally belonging place for so long, that we cant even remember some things
To you movement is an inspiration, as you say an eagle flying with it’s wings spread and vision focused. Strong women choose the association to a predator bird. Who are they?
Women who choose my jewelry are deeply intrigued with discovering their strength and giving it value. We have been out of our naturally belonging place for so long, that we cant even remember some things at all, and some only vaguely. The fact that we know how to fight and survive work and relationships isn’t necessarily proof that we know how it feels to be loved and respected for our natural strength and power. We have been working towards it together, and my jewelry is a part of that story, I’m helping us remember how that feels. Women who buy my jewelry usually have their work, are designers and artists, have a holistic job, are doctors or writers.
You’ve been in New York for a long time. How would you compare life today to the 2000s when you arrived there?
An interesting fact when it comes to New York it that it has nothing to do with how long you’ve been here, each day is, or at least seems to be, completely new and different. Things are definitely very different today. When I arrived in the 2000s I didn’t know anyone, I discovered the city through streets and galleries while going from feeling complete belonging to complete isolation. Today, I bump into people I know, a couple of times a day, which is incredibly for a city of such size. As is with any other place, the city is made of people and relations you have with them make your life, in that sense 2018 is much richer for me.
How has America changed your artistic perception. What do you love, and what can’t you forgive her?
America cheered me up, lifted a burden from my back, made me more subtle, taught me to believe, to laugh at myself. On the other hand, what I can’t forgive is what it lacks compared to Serbia: intensity, passion, pride. So the recipe is great, from Serbia to America and you can have the best of both worlds.
Where do you find inspiration at the moment? Will your trip to Mexico give birth to some new collection?
I’m currently finding inspiration is some deep things that have been gathering inside of me for years. Since elementary school and biology and chemistry lessons, to Rakić’s poems, to yoga, mantra and Sufi music… through meditation and quiet, I’m finding my way back, to the things I care about. Yes, the trip to Mexico will leave a mark on the new collection. Their interpretation of baroque and Jesus’s suffering, colorful food and textiles and people’s beauty, are only some of the affecting elements.
Can your jewelry be found here?
My jewelry isn’t sold in Serbia at the moment, but I’d love to! Many people have been asking me and I think it’s about time I found a good location for a collaboration.
Besides for jewelry you work on hats. Can every woman wear a hat?
I believe that every woman can wear a hat. A hat carries a story, magic and adventure, history and story which is lovely when incorporated in everyday style.
What doesn’t go with that fashion accessory?
Unfortunately, many women don’t believe that they can wear a hat and don’t feel comfortable. I feel bad when I hear such statements, because there are so many hats and different possibilities that every woman can relax and start to believe in jer own beautiful story. I am pretty liberal when it comes to mixing details. The overall attitude and feeling are most important. Once you step away from the mirror and close your eyes, do you like yourself or no? Would you add something or take something off, what is your silhouette? Profound, elongated, modest, monumental, playful?
I see the current moment as the time for deconstruction of existing narratives and structures
How important is branding for positioning in the world of fashion and design?
Brand… historically brand is extremely important, identity and recognition is what everything we do is based on… But it seems that a change is coming there as well. I see the current moment as the time for deconstruction of existing narratives and structures. I am more interested in transparency and individuality, freedom of choice and movement, than I am with the brand’s container… Of course that is much easier said than done… how is that supposed to look?!? I don’t know, it’s a process. On the other hand, big brands are on the (in my opinion) suicidal mission to identify themselves with street wear, everything is becoming the same and everyone wants to be supreme, supreme wants to be luxury and everything is a mass product from China. On the other hand Italy is coming back to life after the long recession and daily closing of small factories… we’ll see how things will develop.
Is Fashion Week still the place to succeed?
I think that the Fashion Week of today is only a date. That is a place of deconstruction as well. Brands choose their venues, do their presentations in atypical environments, sometimes outside the calendar. Some American brands have decided to showcase their creations in Paris only, and not in New York. Tom Ford showcased his first women’s collection in LA. This is a moment that tests the authority of institutions, even in fashion.
What is your advice to young designers?
My general advice is to work as much and as well as possible, which needs to be further balances with the undying question od: What do I care about? Why do I do this? What is my purpose? A mix of exploration into the world and deep closing of inside oneself where answers are looked for. Other things will come on their own- who, when, how much, those are details. I wish someone would have given me that advice.
Plans for the next five years
To listen to the advice I just gave – this is the year of inspection in order to deepen myself and connect my work to my roots as much as possible. I’m letting things open up on their own, so the story and plans will make themselves while I’m working. In short, I’m turning towards art and objects, I will give classes and share what I’ve learned with a larger number of people in order to inspire and enrich.
New York from your perspective
New York is my favorite place in the world. The excitement and potential that I feel while walking it’s streets, especially after ark, when the streets go silent, is unmatched. From that love there can’t be fear, all other beautiful things happen, from beautiful people to beautiful situations.