This and That: Status Symbols

by Glasstire October 24, 2018

“This and That” is an occasional series of paired observations. -Ed.

Today: Art and advertising

The current issue of The New Yorker features this full-page ad from Gemfields, a British mining company that bills itself as providing “responsibly-sourced coloured gemstones.” Gemfields’ advertising campaign, titled Every Piece Unique, “highlights how each gemstone is unique, possessing its own character, much like original pieces of art.”


Dancing in an art gallery, thinking about jewels: Gemfields in 2018

This brings to mind an iconic magazine ad from the 1980s:


Sitting on the floor of a gallery, thinking about smoking: True cigarettes in the 1980s

Which begs the question of how “recent” the art world’s association with style, glamour, money, and shopping really is. Or as Milton Glaser said, in a wonderful interview with Big Think, “Everybody wants to be an artist because in terms of status there’s almost nothing better you can be in almost any culture.”

“Every piece unique.” And every piece the same.


No matter how original, innovative or crazy your idea, someone else is also working on that idea. Furthermore, they are using notation very similar to yours. – Bruce J. MacLennan

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