Charles Beaudelaire, “Les bijoux”, 1857 , a poem that was not included in “Les fleurs du Mal” since it was considered immoral.
My darling was naked, and knowing my heart well, she was wearing only her sonorous jewels, whose opulent display made her look triumphant like Moorish concubines on their fortunate days. When it dances and flings its lively, mocking sound, this radiant world of metal and gems transports me with delight; I passionately love all things in which sound is mingled with light…”

The jewels created by Lucia Massei are a gift of giving, first and foremost.

The gift of giving does not envisage gratitude. Life is given, you can give yourself to a cause, fathers give to their offspring so that this may build up a legacy.

The gift of giving is not the same as giving a present, which on the contrary intends to demonstrate one’s magnificence.

The gift of giving has to do with welcoming the unexpected guest.

Lucia Massei’s jewels envisage distant latitudes, unknown attire, hardly-heard languages that seem to come from a time we fear we’ve lost yet we’re happy to keep impressed in our memory.

They are feminine in the sense of nature, namely possessing generous forms. They are not accessories, they are matchless, they are what we are, they are one with those who wear them.

Even when the colours, metals and stones are precious, they are exhibited sparingly, sometimes in their uncut form, as pure as the sense of feeling, the sense that pulls at the heartstrings; everything in her work is radical and imposes the use of definitions that do not neglect etymologies.

Sensing, namely perceiving with one’s senses, has to do with contemplating the function of the jewel with empathy: the common sensing of those who give and those who receive; it has to do with pathos: the emotion one feels in the face of beauty.

Communicating through ornaments is a well-known practice that has been handed down from one generation to the other through history. Its modern meaning as status-symbol complies with the ancient practice of demonstrating one’s belonging to an ethnic or social group through symbols which today, especially for western society, identify belonging established by wealth criterions that have nothing to do with the history and culture of individuals that those symbols represent.

Ornaments produced by industries as a mass-product; when using the “limited edition” alibi, access criteria are even more extreme. Preciousness is proportionate to the economic difficulty of consumers to have access to the said object.

Jewels created by Lucia Massei, and more in general jewels created by artists, reverse this trend. They are precious in the meaning that is attributed to the work of art, to what has value and possesses qualities that are worthy to be admired, to be observed with wonder and with astonishment.

Uniqueness is mandatory since the act that produces them cannot be repeated. Should repetition be obtained, it is never the same to itself as in the works of most artists. It would simply be a propensity towards the perfect expression and not a simple duplicate aimed at its optimization for marketing purposes.

The jewels created by Lucia Massei are poetic.

Ποίησις (poiesis), a Greek noun that is at the root of the term poetic. It is not a sheer coincidence that it is a feminine noun and means construction, poetic production, a creation that takes place.

The story that underlies them is poetic; it is a story that speaks of nature, earth, geology and geography, the sea and the Mediterranean, of peoples who face onto this sea in the present or who have in the past. It is the story of women who are aware of the mystery that shrouds objects and who wear amulets to collect the passing storms, the wind and sun, the rain, sounds and silence.

The jewels we wear speak about us, they portray who we are, they communicate what we feel only after we have chosen them, selected them amongst others, when they represent our uniqueness and identify us, when they are given to us by those who care for us as much as we do.

Antonella Villanova

1 comment
  1. Non sono assolutamente un critico e l’arte la sento solo di pancia, e non so molte teorie… ma ho sempre pensato, che i lavori di Lucia Massei sono la materializzazione di un’attitudine in equilibrio tra estrema dolcezza e assoluta fermezza e lungimiranza. Sono lo spirito della donna oggi.

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