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Ilgiz Fazulzyanov: Excessive recourse to computer technologies will not lead to good results

24 september 2012

Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, a successful Russian jeweler artist, received the Grand Prix of International Jewellery Design Excellence Award in 2011, the results of which were reviewed at the world's leading jewelry exhibition in Hong Kong. The pendant made by Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, ‘Bullfinches,’ received the highest score of the jury for the beauty and originality of design, and of the 109 jewelers representing 21 countries, he was awarded the highest title - "Champion of Champions".

Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, the only jeweler who was awarded the honor to exhibit and sell his works at Christie’s, answers the questions from Rough&Polished.

Do you have to be a perfectionist to be successful?

I think so! I think perfectionism is one of the components that lead to success. This is especially true for jewelry, where you can literally see the best result.

Please, tell us about the contest in Hong Kong where you became the "Champion of Champions" and about your work.

The contest in Hong Kong is held every two years and is considered the most important among jewelers around the world. This is a sort of Oscar for a jewelry master. It is considered prestigious even to take part in it, not to mention getting into the final or winning the contest. Although I came to this success probably through a series of accidental events, I think my work brought me a legitimate victory. The point is that I often go to jewelry events and see there a lot. And analyzing what I saw, I understand what an acute shortage of ideas and elemental skill is there in the world. To my view, professionals are now too reliant on computers, hence there is a large number of undoubtedly high-quality, but not "live" works. Moreover, the separation between designers and jewelers does not always lead to mutual understanding, and thus to success.

Of course, we are not talking about huge corporations, but rather about the so-called jewelry "art." Against this background, my pendant ‘Bullfinches’ looks good in terms of ideas and execution, including the rare enameling techniques that I developed independently, and other technical solutions. As time has shown, this is not just my personal opinion, but the opinion of the jury of several Russian contests, and the decision of the high jury in Hong Kong.

What is inspiring you?

With this I have no special difficulties. You just need to go to the flower garden or park. Nature - it is an inexhaustible source of inspiration and ideas. Add to that my children, my fair one, music...

Do you have any idols in the jewelry business?

Certainly. Each new artist is the accumulation of invaluable experience of previous generations of artists, more than one generation. So I'm more inclined to call them my teachers, and not idols. So, for me they are Lalique, Fouquet, Vivier and other maestros of the modernist style. Of our contemporaries, these are Jar, Wallace Chan.

What do you think about the current state of jewelry art - in Russia and in the world?

Today, I would not single out jewelry art as such just because gradation between jewelry production and jewelry art is currently not significant. As I said, excessive recourse to computer technologies will not lead to good results. It is already understood almost by the entire world, but Russia is only starting to be hooked on it all, buying Italian jewelry design programs and losing valuable experience of the Russian school of jewelry. I collaborate with colleges, which train jewelers, and sometimes I see young people who cannot even draw. How can we talk about developing art in this case?

In my opinion, the other side of what makes the development of jewelry art impossible is a complete lack of government interest in this issue: gold, diamonds, foreign exchange control, a few monopolies in the country - that's the main focus of interest of our state. And nobody cares about the fact that there are companies that are worthy to represent the country in the world.

What is your attitude towards diamonds and their use in jewelry?

Nowadays, diamonds are almost inseparable from high-end jewelry. At least for me, buying a jewelry piece always means an investment. And one of the conditions of such a purchase is whether there are one or several diamonds in a jewelry piece. In this case I am talking about the bulk of customers. But I have customers and I especially cherish them, who appreciate my works and buy them independently of carats in their diamonds - just for the idea and craftsmanship.

What are you working on now and what are your plans?

After winning in Hong Kong, I got a few proposals to take part in various projects. This also includes a presentation at the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles and the exhibition in Monaco. Recently, there was an exhibition in Las Vegas, where we exhibited in the LUXURY pavilion being invited there after we sent them some photos of our works. But the greater part of our trips is associated with meeting private collectors around the world. Or it is some kind of chamber activities like the charity ball of the Red Cross in Geneva, which is for many years hosted by Baron and Baroness de Rothschild, where we were asked to submit our work for the auction.

We do not forget Russia, too. The Art Festival of Yuri Bashmet in Sochi is still one of the favorite activities, where we used to hold a solo exhibition, and we also make a special prize for the festival, the Silver Shell. Other cities - Irkutsk, Perm – also invite me as guest of honor to organize exhibitions of my works.

This year it will be the 20th anniversary of my creative work, and we had plans to hold a personal exhibition in Moscow. But so far there are only negotiations with leading museums, the management of which is very confused by materials with which I work, which are not canvases and paints...

Galina Semyonova, Rough&Polished