At Kreps, Hubert Duprat Shows Wearable Art Made By Worms

THE DAILY PIC: Larvae are Duprat's artisans, but he leaves them lots of leeway.


THE DAILY PIC (#1444): Lately, I’ve been writing about cutting-edge jewelry – in a little essay for an upcoming LACMA show – and I think today’s Pic qualifies as some of the best work in that genre that I’ve seen for a while. It’s a piece called Tube de Trichoptère by the French artist Hubert Duprat, and it’s in a group show at Andrew Kreps in New York. What makes this work so exciting is that, for all its artisanal gorgeousness, Duprat barely had a part in its crafting. He left that to a crowd of hard-working fabricators – the larvae of insects known as caddisflies – with himself acting only as the provider of their craft supplies. He procures the gold filings, specks of turquoise and other such precious things that the larvae then use to build their tiny homes – in today’s case, a tube under one inch long.

I know that Duprat doesn’t normally count as a jeweler, and that his piece can’t quite be worn. But given the materials and scale of the object in question, the world of bijoux may be the context that really unlocks its sense.

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