Johnathan Shultz - Defining the Future of Art
Johnathan Schultz is defining the future of art, by creating iconic works of art in precious metals and gemstones that communicate the cultural zeitgeist of our times. He is the new iconoclast who rebels against the conforms of the current art establishment to uncover new dimensions and emotions that stir the soul. At the heart of Schultz’s work is our elemental connection to the earth’s precious materials – exploring our responses, relationships and boundaries Schultz stormed onto the U.S art scene in 2021 and he has a lot of exciting plans for 2022. His latest exhibition received critical acclaim in December 2021. Taking place at the inaugural Le Art Noir, Diversity in Color art exhibition during Art Basel Miami ‘Out of the Darkness’ included two of the largest diamond art pieces of the 21st Century, showcasing one-of-a-kind cultural iconography from around the world with the spellbinding beauty of diamonds.
With over 100 diamond and precious metal art pieces within three gallery spaces, the must-see exhibits included two of the largest diamond art pieces crafted in recent years – the ‘Out of the Darkness’ Diamond Fingerprint and ‘Refraction of a Legacy’ Diamond Chandelier. Taken from the exhibition title, ‘Out of the Darkness’ is derived from Nelson Mandela’s fingerprints. This truly stunning art piece radiates with 9,225 diamonds set in 18 carat white gold weighing in at 895 carats. The Round Brilliant cut stones are Color G/H and Clarity VS plus, creating a captivating, alternative perspective on the remarkable legacy and story of South Africa’s first democratically elected President.
Also, on show for the first time, ‘Refraction of a Legacy’ is constructed from metal fencing recovered from Robben Island, the maximum-security prison used in the Apartheid years and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The chandelier stands at an imposing 10ft tall, comprising five circular layers with cascades of diamonds. The diamonds themselves represent the hope and light we have in ourselves, with the structure signifying light breaking through the fence that once imprisoned others.
Other popular pieces which captured visitors’ imaginations included Schultz’s collaborations. These included 23 carat gold on acrylic representations of Nelson and Winnie Mandela which was created by Schultz with graffiti artist Mr. Cenz, along with ‘The Legend’ – acrylic on canvas, 23 carat gold and diamond piece which was a partnership between Schultz and Helio Bray. True to his philosophy of pushing back against the traditional art establishment, Schultz is entering the NFT space with GEM. Transcending from Earth’s precious metals to a coveted digital rarity in the Metaverse, GEM’s journey carries weight. Like GEM itself, the GemSet community are rebels against the constant. Schultz explains: “GEM teaches us that those who hold weight, hold value and we are heavy. The GemSet community is driven by the knowledge and power we are given when we transcend limitations and embrace all that we are. We are the darkness and the light. We are of Earth and the Metaverse. We are multidimensional. We are more than “either or”, we are all, we are one, we are GemSet.” GEM can be fully customized to be a true reflection of ourselves, as individuals we will all identify with GEM differently. In addition to being available to purchase as an NFT, physical representations are also being created in the form of sculptures made from Schultz’s signature precious metals and more conventional wall pieces.
Spring 2022 will see the opening of Schultz’s first U.S gallery. The new gallery is proud to be part of Miami’s vibrant and innovative Design District. The 3,000 sq. ft. space will feature a diverse mix of Schultz’s work, including the diamond fingerprint, chandelier and sculptures of GEM in gold and platinum. Schultz added: “I’m excited to be opening my first permanent gallery space in Miami, a diverse city that has been so welcoming to me and my work. To be part of such a dynamic and innovative neighborhood is inspiring; creativity is evident in all its forms providing a canvas of endless possibilities. It’s the perfect environment to showcase all aspects of my work, both physical and digital, in one cohesive, curated space.” Plans are also underway to open a gallery space at Schultz’s HQ in Las Vegas, alongside the studio and workshop where he creates and refines his pieces. Visit the Miami gallery at 4141 NE 2nd Avenue, Suite 105 D-F. The Las Vegas gallery will be available to visit by appointment only at 253 W Brooks Ave, North Las Vegas. All diamonds and precious metals used by Schultz are responsibly sourced in the U.S.