Israeli jeweler Shachar Cohen’s works are as evocative as they are beautiful. Reminiscent of primordial forms, they stimulate visions of prehistoric sculptures or vessels. Named Reflective Idols, the sensual talismans that comprise Cohen’s necklaces, pendants, and brooches are informed by silhouettes of ancient amphorae and archaic fertility figures. By employing a process in which he welds mirror images of hollow, pressure-molded stainless steel shapes, Cohen achieves three dimensional objects that may be perceived as futuristic versions of the time-honored votives they recall.
Highly polished surfaces reflect the surrounding environment, distorting the faces of those who seek a closer look. Cohen believes that such deformation is a metaphor for contemporary society’s self-absorption, typified by its obsession with “selfies.” Accepting of human imperfection, he often leaves the welded edges dark and jagged, symbolically juxtaposing our accidental foibles with our hard-won pride. It is Cohen’s hope that Reflective Idols may provide a transition between the spiritual idols of the past and the shallow idols of the present, thereby offering something transcendent to literally hold onto.
Cohen received a BFA, Department of Jewellery and Fashion, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, Israel, in 2010, where he was awarded the Eithan Ron Prize for his graduation project. Since 2013 he has been working towards his MFA at Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich, Germany, studying with both Otto Künzli and Karen Pontoppidan. Cohen is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Preziosa Young Award, Le arte orafe, Florence, Italy (2017); he was nominated for the Talente Award, Munich, Germany (2016). He has participated in numerous exhibitions, including “Schmuckbegehren – eine international Privatsammlung,” Villa Bengel, Idar-Oberstein, Germany (2017); “CULT,” Stedelijk Museum’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands (2016); “Talente,” Internationale Handwersmesse and “Das andere Badezimmer,” Gallery Handwerk, Munich, Germany (2016); and in 2013, “Allos Ago,” Contemporary Art Jewellery Intersection – Art Fair, Tokyo, Japan and “I Am Another,” Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel.