Marcel Dzama — most definitely Canada’s hottest artistic export of the last decade — has just taken another unexpected turn in his already novel career. He’s gone bling.
Dzama’s illustrations, a madcap, cartoon tableau of mirth and the macabre, have long endeared the artist to the Canadian art scene and, farther south, to the indie hipster brigades of McSweeny’s founder Dave Eggers.
New work His most recent outing is a series of charms, his first foray into jewellery design, that debuted at New York Fashion Week last fall. Manhattan is now toasting Dzama’s talens. From his new home base on the Lower East Side, he is fending off a surge of stateside publicity not unlike that which he has enjoyed back home, including a feature-length anointment in the pages of The New York Times Magazine as a “Canadian wunderkind.”
Simply charming Designed for accessories company M Z Wallace, the 18-karat gold charms are part of a numbered, artist-signed, limited edition set of five featuring rubies, diamonds and semi-precious stones. THe charm figures are all fancifully twisted Dzama mainstays: an alligator, a bat, an octopus, and two bears hanging from nooses. Priced for the celebutante set, they retail for $4,750 and $5,950 (Yes, they’re pricey, but is there a surer lure for the next Greek shipping magnate blowing through town than one of these dangling from your cell?) As a bonus, the charms have moving parts that are sure to be eye-catching.
Reality check For non-trust fund art lovers, there is a luxe t-shirt series. At $190 each, the elegant, long-sleeve, princess-neck grey merino-wool jersey shirts feature a Dzama charm character hand-stitched in five different colours.
More, please! Others who are mad for Marcel are finding their fix on eBay, where free M Z Wallace catalogues that Dzama has art-directed, each displaying his illustrations and photography are fetching prices under $12.