An evening of provocative art
At Métis Gallery & Restaurant
Bali residents were treated to an eye-popping art reception as Metis Restaurant & Gallery hosted a chic evening to celebrate the new collections of pop art and collage artist, Irene Hoff. A lively gathering of art enthusiasts enjoyed Métis Restaurant’s signature hospitality as trays of beautifully presented Cosmopolitans, Mojitos and Champagne circulated throughout the second-floor Private Dining Room, complementing the vibrant artist and her work. “Irene’s art has an instant impact,” said one fan, and that’s just the beginning. A resident of Asia for over 12 years, the Dutch artist says she has always had a keen eye for composition, trends and interiors and that daily life in Asia inspires her endlessly. When she first arrived in Asia, now calling Bali home, Irene felt inspired by the things she encountered on the streets.
Translating these thoughts and feelings into her work, there is a wealth of intricate detail in each picture that requires in depth study. Often Irene will incorporate a clever surprise or angle that leaves the viewer with a feeling of wonder, mystery, laughter, excitement and a longing to see more. It pulls you into a place you love to stay, a break out of the ordinary. Moreover, she challenges you to believe in your imaginary world and make it you own. Guests were able to get an up close and personal look at Irene’s most recent collection: ‘World of Weast’, based on the riddle from her brother Gong San Ho (Gerard Hoff): “How far do you have to travel from the East to meet the West?” The answer is that you’re already there; it is just a matter of perspective. Hoff describes “WoW” as all about integrating the best parts of all there is, seen and ‘unseen’, turning it into a world that surpasses reality and fiction.
‘Reformation’ is a collection that incorporates shifting energy, creating one’s own awareness and being able to make any wishful change. For this collection Irene uses a mix of powerful women’s faces, from west & east; the past, present and future. She describes this collection as reality and fantasy, all integrated into a new perspective. “Each woman faces their own emotions, feeling so far apart yet all connected, striving for the same goal in life as part of one whole.”
EVERYONE LOVES A FAIRYTALE ENDING
After a bad breakup and the death of her mother, American jeweler Carolyn Tyler decided to leave her charmed, but demanding 24/7 life as a successful advertising executive. Leaving moonlit horseback rides along the beach in Santa Barbara behind, she packed her belongings with a loose plan to spend time in Southeast Asia. But before she left, a jewelry designer friend convinced her to come to the gem shows in Tuscson, Arizona. “When I arrived, she was white as a sheet, bags packed, keys in hand,” Tyler recounts. “She said, ‘My mother had a heart attack and I have to leave. Please stay for 10 days and buy my stones.’ She handed me a list and said, ‘You’ll learn. Just spend the first seven days looking. Here are the prices you should pay.’
“By the end of that week, I was completely into gemstones,” Tyler says. “I was addicted.” On top of the stones she bought for her friend, she spent US $5,000 on gems. A month later, she arrived in Bali with a bag of rocks and no idea how to set them. Fortunately, she had landed on an island inhabited by some of the world’s most skilled – and least expensive – goldsmiths. Still grieving, she threw herself into manic creativity. By day she explored the island, inspired by its stunning natural beauty, then designed jewelry into the wee hours. After a year or so, she had 80 pieces and fellow ex-pat Lee Downey invited her to share his booth at the Tucson Gem Shows. That was the year someone decided to start his own gallery, showed up in Tucson and bought out the entire inventory of 23 designers. His checks bore no address or phone number and a few people ripped theirs up. “But mine cleared within two days – for $67,000,” Tyler says. “I was back in business.”
“Usually I pick a central stone, look at the colors in it, and pull out side stones. I just trace the stone and sit there with it, see if it wants to be a pin or a pendant, or both. Usually it’s pretty obvious if it’s a ring or earrings. I love mixing and matching colors, especially combinations like purple and chartreuse or orange and purple – slightly jarring but satisfying.” Tyler’s designs reflect her studies of ancient cultures – she has a degree in archaeology and cultural anthropology – and the natural beauty of life around her. She is inspired by ancient Egyptian and Etruscan jewelry and favors 22-karat gold, for which she developed a signature matte finish. Her pieces are versatile and convertible, with drops and pieces that can be unscrewed to transform them from dressy to casual and vice versa. “It isn’t the visual sense of the people in Southeast Asia that inspires me, it’s the land itself, the texture of the air, the moisture and the scent, all the flowers. I love the moss on the brick, the beautiful old patina.”