Wandering Eye Studs


18k Yellow Gold


What appealed to Tony about the human eye was not just the eye itself—window to the soul, and all that—but the unusual surface geometry of the face around the eye. It's not a flat plane, in other words, and presented an interesting challenge. He actually struggled with the original sculpture, because of his need for precision, but stayed with it because he liked the feel of it in his hands so much. The result is a highly personal, truly hand-crafted piece that is more of an "eye chip" than an eye alone. You might say that it represents his greatest achievement of eye-hand coordination! Of course, the symbolism of eyes was foremost in his mind, as well. The mystical attraction of the all-seeing eye is evinced throughout visual history: in the Eye of Horus, the Wisdom Eyes of the Buddha, the evil eye of Kabbalistic lore and ancient Mediterranean superstition, the various symbols of the third eye chakra, the Masonic Eye of Providence (featured on the back of the one dollar bill), and elsewhere. He also cites the mysterious eyes of the Mona Lisa and in the paintings of Rembrandt van Rijn that seem to follow you, the giant-sized eyes in the noirs of Odilon Redon, and, more contemporary but no less significant, the eye illustrations in Luigi Serafini's "Codex Seraphinianus" and the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings, some of Tony's favorite books. In carving out the little heart in the pupil, Tony applied a classic sculptural trick when making an eye: you cut a shape into the pupil so that it catches the light, giving negative space the appearance of having a positive, dynamic presence. Another addition to this mysterious tradition? Or should we just make Tony's sort of joke and say the "eyes" have it?

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