American artist Rashid Johnson collaborated with Liz Swig of the Lizworks brand for his first jewelry collection. Image: Lizworks via AFP Relaxnews.

While some men feel reticent about wearing jewelry on a daily basis, Rashid Johnson hopes to change that.

The American artist has partnered with the Lizworks brand to design his first jewelry collection. The result? Pieces that hover between objets d’art and jewelry through which Johnson revisits his series of artworks called “Anxious Men”.

Exhibited for the first time in 2015 at The Drawing Center in New York, the figurative portraits of the series “Anxious Men” question the perception and representation of black men in contemporary American society — themes that have become particularly salient in recent months as the death of George Floyd has sparked a historic movement of protest against racism and police violence in the United States.

While the portraits of “Anxious Men” were made with wax and black soap, the pieces in Johnson’s new jewelry collection are crafted in 9-carat gold or titanium. Some jewels are also embellished with rubies and small diamonds, which add a touch of color to the deliberately messy lines of the American artist.

“When I draw I use lines as a way to construct new pathways to help explore where and how we are in the world today. Lines help unpack my emotional state,” explained Rashid Johnson to the magazine Architectural Digest.

While the name of the collection “Anxious Men” addresses men directly, the pieces in Johnson’s limited edition collection can be paired with a masculine or feminine wardrobe. They are designed for anyone who “has a point of view that fills the space,” said Liz Swig, creator of the brand Lizworks, according to Vogue.

Although art lovers will have to pay between $5,000 and $18,500(approx. P241,000 and P894,000) to buy one of the pieces of “Anxious Men”, Johnson announced that he will donate the profits from the collection to the associations Prep for Prep and Black Mental Health Alliance. CC

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