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This weekend marks the 18th year that the SOFA Expo has descended upon Chicago and taken the breath away from thousands. Galleries and gallerists fly in from Austrailia, New York, Berlin, and Tokyo showing sculptural objects and fine art (as the acronym would suggest). Join us today as we wander around Navy Pier's agoric Festival Hall A and Festival Hall B as we document the future in fashion, art, jewelry, trend-led sculpture and other extravagant things you can buy that will definitely enhance your lifestyle.
12:30PM - The doors just opened, we're looking at a festival map and it seems like there are lots of young people here today.
12:55PM - We're going to go check out this candelabra made from colored pencils. Its at Megumi Ogita Gallery's booth hailing from Tokyo. After that we'll be sitting in on Dr. Damian Skinner who's presenting a contemporary European jewelry lecture presented by Art Jewelry Forum.
1:34PM - We just talked to the press and sales offices and it sounds like there are a ton of younger collectors this year and have reported a "very strong" opening night last night. Some of the key players include Duane Reade Gallery, Litvak Gallery, Bullseye Gallery, Schantz Gallery, Wexler Gallery, and Blue Rain. These individual sales boast anywhere from $60,000 to $25,000 with more large ticket items expected throughout the weekend.
We just found Greg Frankel from Alex & Lee out of Sonoma. Probably known most recently for having a few pieces in the Proenza Schouler Resort 2012 but also for one of their neck pieces being owned and worn regularly by Salvador Dali. Our favorite out of the new Alex & Lee collection is the scarab neck piece which has a circuit board print on it and will run you about $4,000. They're also making replicated and reflected imagery silk scarves which are $300 for the show.
2:45PM - We Just met Julia from Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills who was helping with the Three Jewelers on Monomatter talk in room 324 where we hear Iris Eichenberg was debating the aesthetic strengths of certain metals with Gemma Draper. The lecture was about the creative process and the works in the Cranbrook booth.
This is Katie. She drove from Milwaukee this morning to see what is new at the Sofa Expo this year. She's wearing vintage Native-American print three-quater sleeve knit jacket with an African print shirt from Re-Threads, a vintage store in Milwaukee. Her boots are maroon Doc Martens and her necklace was made by a hippie in Milwaukee.
We just happened to stop by the Heller Gallery booth and we found this glass artist who does these super intricate jellyfish-esque imaginary specimens. The Artist's name is Steffen Dam and his works are displayed as scientific findings.
We overheard a few young women talking about these brooches that were made of animal skin and human hair that we just had to go check out. We go over to Ornamentum Gallery to learn that this Polar Bear just got back from a television shoot. Here we see him on the pedestal with his friends - a giraffe, a lion, baboon and moose. All of them are wearable and turn out to be made of small intestine from cows and use gold leafed human hair. 4:45PM -
In the same gallery booth we see this neck piece made of elk antler and beaver teeth with embellishments of a gold picture frame from the 1800s. It's been sold... for $37,000.
This is Kari Rynn from Ashville, North Carolina. She's wearing a black dress from Target, her boots are Ariat, her rings on her right hand are Drusy and Denmark-based Gudrun Meyer, both from Pistachios in Chicago. Her bangle and diamond is from Pat Flynn and the ring on her left hand is Atelier Zobel. Her flower arm piece, also on her left is steel mesh and silver by Pawel Kaczynski. Around her neck she's got an asymmetrical necklace by Myung Urso of New York which is made of handmade paper and sterling silver.
And then we meet Jillian Moore from Iowa City, Iowa. She's wearing Global Eyeglasses, MAC Makeup, a sweater from White Rabbit Gallery in Iowa City, and an American Apparel skirt that she's altered "because of her changing views of Dov Charney". Her shoes are from Salvation that she's spray painted. Her neck piece is her own line which is made of resin coated foam and puff paint. Jillian, alongside her friend, Sharon Massey, also a jewelry designer from Pittsburgh who was on her way to Adobo Grill for a Jewelry Forum dinner.
· SOFA Expo [Official Site]