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True Fakes – Charlotte Van de Velde

Charlotte Van de Velde begins by collecting. Delicately combing through flea market bounties, rescuing lost loves: children’s jewels to classic jewels, plastic to silver. She then objectively organizes them in an idiosyncratic fashion that simultaneously disregards and glorifies their histories. She creates a collection of the lost bits of the collections of others and reveals the duality of slippage, as the material value decreases and the emotional value grows.

In her series ‘True Fakes’ Van de Velde meditates on the poetic failures and quiet triumphs of faux gems and settings. She highlights the unique beauty of fakeness and the deteriorating mimicry of ‘real’ gems, while also reflecting on the constant human desire for beauty and valuve.


She translates her findings into large photographs and installations that overwhelm the viewer with massive displays of unique beauty, that cleverly deviate from the conventions of jewellery, photography and collecting.


Inspired by presentation strategies of fine jewellery, she stages her collection into store display environment with rings that allow one to simply squeeze and release the gem from its’ setting in order to replace it with another. This conflation of both fake-stones and fake-settings responds to both the absurdity of jewellery store display settings and the very real desire to have, to keep, and to love a jewel over time.


Balancing between similarity and difference, beauty and ugliness, longing and loss, Van de Velde introduces the earnestness in Fakeness. Her images and process articulate the nature of collecting as a methodical practice of longing and meaning-making that calls us to re-examine the fragility of the things we love.

Charlotte Van de Velde, born in 1988 in Bruges. After graduating in Art history in Ghent she started studing Jewellery Design at Sint-Lucas University of Art and Design in Antwerp and currently completing Master Degree.

See her current work on


Anna Greer, born 1990, is an artist and writer from Portland, Oregon, currently living in Amsterdam. She is invested in making and writing about work that challenges the boundaries of jewellery and the decorative arts, as a method of contemporary cultural research.




This article was first published in #3 Current Obsession Magazine, 2014


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