the ying and yang in the work of Michou Osterwald

I was recently in SoHO where I dropped by Amaridian, a wonderful store selling design and artisanal products and art from Africa.  To my amazement I found today’s featured bowls by the great South African artist Michou Osterwald.

LOVE the ying/yang of precious metal on a pedestrian and imperfect wood object.  That dichotomy rocks! And it fits right into my aesthetic of contemporary design … high and low can exist in sophisticated harmony, beauty and luxury.  Either extreme is BORING!
The tradition of water gilding (gold and silver) comes to us from the Egyptians over 5,000 years ago and through the ages it has been mostly applied to precious objects … from Egyptian funerary masks, to Spanish polychromed 16th century saints, to French 17th Century painting/mirror frames.  Now Osterwald applies it to imperfectly carved bowls of African woods like Zimbabwean teak, jacaranda and wild olive.  They’re so awesome in so many ways.  Imagine a clean interior entrance hall in light stone color with a fine 18th century Chinese prayer table holding an evergreen bonsai and one of Michou’s bowls …. the image is soooo chic I can barely stand it! 
image credits: Amaridian, New York, which represents the artist in the U.S.
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