Renowned Jewelry Designer Isaac Manevitz Debuts Fine Art Sculpture
How did the idea for Ben-Amun come about?
I was born into the jewelry business. At 10 years old, as a child in Egypt, I would spend hours with my father as he designed and crafted jewelry. I’ve always loved it and was taken by the design, the function and the trends. I’ve always been interested in art and design, and after immigrating to the United States, I attended Brooklyn College where I studied Art and Sculpture.
During my years at school, I needed to make money, so with my experience, I worked for various jewelers when I wasn’t studying. Upon graduating, I was still working as a designer for brands.
This was the late 70’s, early 80’s, when excess and costume jewelry was the trend – I enjoyed the colors and structure of this style. I began designing my own jewelry and soon, I felt ready to start my own jewelry company. The name Ben-Amun is derived from my wife and I’s first son, Ben, and Amun, the Egyptian god of the sun.
What inspires you in your work?
My sculptures are always inspired by the details of my surroundings. Shapes are extremely important to me, as is material. My sculptures are primarily created with found objects, wood and brass. I’m inspired by positive and negative space. I am often captured by fleeting moments, peace, harmony, and most importantly, my personal background.
I love putting things together and seeing how they work together. My jewelry is inspired by all things fashion – the movies, trends, eras. It is my way of exploring my own perspective of cultural observations. Engineering as a whole has moved me to create many of my favorite pieces as well.
Harmony. My sculpture, Perfect Harmony, is inspired by just that. It explores not only how the shapes of the piece flow but the union of black and white. How would you describe your style as an artist? That’s hard to say. It’s a fusion of all of my inspirations. It is contemporary, abstract, sculptural, architectural...
Anything else to add?
One reason I sculpt is so others can enjoy it. I always find myself creating new pieces and want my work to bring satisfaction to the people who see it. They are made to bring peace.