American artist Timothy Veske-McMahon navigates the arena between truth and perception, investigating the material versus the ephemeral, substantive versus symbolic, and explorative versus revealing. Using a variety of methods and mediums, along with tropes that meld philosophical thought with personal experience, he creates contemplative jewelry that challenges the mind as well as adorning the body.
Veske-McMahon, who was Artist-in-Residence in Jewelry and Blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2013, is married to an Estonian and has consequently come to love the folk patterns of that culturally rich country. The Teem series is realized through 3D printing, which is an ideal process for the creation of objects he considers “willed into being.” Renderings of indigenous Estonian motifs are “wrapped around…blown up” nylon forms through the techniques of marbling and hydrographic transfer. These brooches combine pathos with surreal humor, while tapping into the universal language of nostalgia, longing, innocence, and sexuality.
Soft Spot, in the other hand, probes memory rather than presence. By couching works, which address loss, grief, and remembrance within the context of virtual memory—exemplified nowadays by digital backup and recovery—Veske-McMahon embraces timely concerns. Using silver, gold, and brass to hand-fabricate brooches incised with equivocal images that are rooted equally in the metaphysical and material, he again gives us much to ponder as well as to wear.
Timothy Veske-McMahon received a MFA in metalsmithing (2013) from Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he also served as assistant to department head Iris Eichenberg, and BFA in sculpture with honors (2004, concentration in jewelry) from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, where he was appointed a Visiting Assistant Professor in 2015. He has won numerous awards and received several grants and is currently an Assistant Professor at Rhode Island School of Design, where he is Graduate Program Director for Jewelry and Metalsmithing. Veske-McMahon has shown in several solo and group exhibitions in the U.S.A. He was the subject of one-person exhibitions and has been included in group shows in Beijing, Seoul, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Stockholm, Tbilisi, and Toronto, among others; in 2011 he participated in the prestigious Talente exhibition at the Internationale Handwerksmesse, Munich. Veske-McMahon was featured in a cover article in Metalsmith magazine in 2016. His works are included in many prominent private collections, as well as the Yale University Art Gallery.