Combining his passion for luxury goods and contemporary art has taken South African artist Johnathan Schultz to the heights of both fields. Fresh off a reception for his latest artwork at Saks Fifth Avenue’s iconic New York flagship store, Schultz now finalizes preparation on an entire new collection which will be headlining a major program during Miami Art Week.
On November 4, Schultz debuted a one-of-a-kind platinum and diamond masterpiece, Frozen with Desire, created in collaboration with artist Brendan Murphy. The VIP preview of the sculpture in The Vault at Saks Fifth Avenue brought out prominent collectors of both fine art and jewelry. The Vault is Saks’ lower level dedicated to exclusive jewelry pieces and watches. Frozen with Desire will remain on display there through Friday, January 7.
Frozen with Desire pushes the boundaries of metals and diamonds in creating an exclusive fusion of sculpture and jewels. The 42-inch art piece features 517-carats of diamonds and stands as the world’s second most diamond-intensive artworks ever made. Differentiated by its remarkable diamond count, Frozen with Desire boasts over 6,200 responsibly-sourced D to H diamonds with VS plus clarity, set in a 1,809-gram platinum cast. Taking almost twelve months to complete, the dazzling spaceman features a unique cobalt blue finish adorned with Murphy’s signature formulas imbuing the piece with the spirit of hope, discovery and positivity synonymous with the artist’s ‘Boonji Spaceman’ series.
Diamonds and platinum are two of South Africa’s most treasured natural resources and it is here where Schultz’ inspiration finds its wellspring.
“Art takes us back to our roots,” Johnathan Schultz said. “We are inspired by it; we crave to be better because of it. Art develops over time, and so do we.”
Schultz integrates precious metals, precious stones and cultural iconography into his works, fusing the worlds of art, precious metals and diamonds. Featuring sculptures and canvas with diamond imagery and intricately placed white diamonds of varying sizes, Schultz is best known for his “Diamond Series” artwork.
Schultz continuously explores new applications of precious metals and materials to bring both gravity and depth to large-scale artworks which he will next showcase at Art Basel Miami Beach.
Le Art Noir, Diversity in Color
The inaugural Le Art Noir, Diversity in Color is a unique multicultural collaboration of artists from around the globe showcasing innovative exhibitions that capture the heartbeat of our society. The exhibition aims to provide a platform for artists to challenge the boundaries on issues that plague today’s world. By featuring creators who, through their creative lens, shed light on poignant matters and inspire change, Le Art Noir is raising awareness and encouraging activism.
No activist is more well known than Nelson Mandela who spent a lifetime fighting South Africa’s system of apartheid. Schultz will be using the platform of Le Art Noir, Diversity in Color to take up the challenge of honoring his fellow countryman.
Schultz’s “Out of the Darkness” series will headline the event taking place from December 2 – 5, 2021 to coincides with Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami Beach. “Out of the Darkness” draws inspiration from world leaders, including Mandela, and features one-of-a-kind artifacts from Robben Island, South Africa, where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment.
“‘Out of the Darkness’ represents the dark that Nelson came out of,” Schultz said. “It also parallels the challenge that we (as a world) are facing right now as we emerge from a pandemic.”
This exclusive art collection features some of the largest diamond art pieces in the world.
Le Art Noir, Diversity in Color is Schultz’s first exhibition in the United States and culminates with a VIP reception to support Hennessy’s Unfinished Business charity, a program providing immediate relief and long-term support to Black, Asian and Latinx small-business owners.
A $150,000 multi layered gold basketball piece will be donated at the VIP Kick Off Reception.
The “Out of the Darkness” collection will feature artwork that integrates precious metals and diamonds – Schultz’ signature craft. Schultz’s “Left and Right Hand of Freedom” art piece showcases Mandela’s real handprints. The piece consists of 23 karat gold leaf and 18 karat gold. This collection also includes a highly exclusive, one-of-one chandelier which is considered among the largest diamond artworks worldwide and will be on display at the Le Art Noir exhibition for the first time.
Le Art Noir, Diversity in Color takes place at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Avenue Miami, FL 33142. Tickets, including three day passes ($25) are available for purchase. For additional information on the event, including the purchasing of tickets, please visit https://www.leartnoir.com.
ABOUT JOHNATHAN SCHULTZ
South African artist Johnathan Schultz is inspired by precious metals and diamonds, two of the country’s most valued natural resources. He integrates these different mediums along with other precious stones and artifacts into fabulous works of art that are not only mesmerizing, but have a back-story of hope, diversity, and the ultimate rise over obstacles.
His passion for innovation is matched by his fascination with contemporary art and the way art communicates universally. Amidst all his projects, Johnathan’s goal is unchanging: to make the impossible a reality.
For additional information, please visit thejohnathanschultz.com and on IG @thejohnathanschultz and FB @artbythejohnathanschultz.
ABOUT BRENDAN MURPHY
Brendan Murphy is a widely known contemporary artist whose work is represented in over 600 private collections. His works’ universal appeal pushes the walls of creativity beyond the confines of the canvas exploring sculptural works, conceptual pieces, a wide range of rare materials, and producing his art with non-traditional methods.
Brendan currently works from his studio in Miami, FL and has gallery representation in the USA, Canada, Germany, Colombia, England, and Monaco. For more information, visit the artist’s website, BrendanMurphy.com or follow on Instagram @brendanmurphyart.