$139,000 porcelain chandelier from tiny Joseph, Oregon (photos and video)
A light fixture priced at $139,000? Such objets d’art exist, but who would guess that the creator of a highly praised, high-priced porcelain chandelier is Chris Antemann from tiny, remote Joseph, Ore.?
The sculptor has received international attention for her seductive send-up to classic Baroque porcelain figures.
A full-room installation titled “Forbidden Fruit” debuted at the Portland Art Museum in September and continues through Feb. 8. Other fragile, complex pieces were sent across the country to be showcased this week at Art Miami, one of the contemporary art fairs held during fabled Miami Art Week.
Across the bay is the nation’s most prestigious modern and contemporary art show, Art Basel Miami Beach. The fairs, which attract art collectors from around the world, close on Sunday, Dec. 7.
Antemann’s limited-edition pieces – we are talking only 10 chandeliers will be made, only eight of the small sculptures – are represented by London-based Cynthia Corbett Gallery.
Her elaborate vignettes and chandeliers have been described as depicting “modern stories of desire.”
Look closely at the massive nine-light porcelain chandelier. Dangling from its arms are bright yellow lemons and resting on the center column are two young lovers, separated by gold-trimmed finials.
Then look at the banquet table pieces, also in the Antemann Dreams Collection, that portray near-naked revelers, partaking of forbidden fruit in pleasure gardens and love temples.
A palm-sized, red-lipped Little Maid holds a teetering tea set – but not in her hands. An amorous couple eats figs and then, there is a secluded kiss.
More surprising than the depictions is that to execute her sculptures in thin white porcelain, Antemann collaborated with master artisans at Meissen Porcelain Manufactory in Germany, a legendary company that has been making luxury pieces for kings and queens and Madame duBarrys since 1708.
Inspired by Johann Joachim Kandler’s “Love Temple” chandelier that he created for Meissen in the mid-1700s, Antemann retained the classic form of the great master’s chandelier but updated the action between the seducing figures.