Fabio Salini's Revolutionary Road

One of the most innovative freelance jewelry designers on the scene, twenty years after his public debut, Rome-born Fabio Salini interprets a new breakaway language

«Jewelry should be looked at with a cerebral eye, not with the retina. It is to be divested of its merely figurative part and charged with conceptual value. A way to make it modern because, while it is true that jewelry requires traditions, it is just as true that it calls for evolution». Fabio Salini is celebrating, in this memorable 2020, a significant anniversary: 20 years since his first exhibition organized in Rome in the historical Petochi jewelry store. It is there that he laid the first foundations for a new language in jewelry, one made of aesthetic codes and revolutionary narratives, symbols, materials and thoughts that raised it to a greater and more contemporary art form. In the 1980s, Bulgari had decided to be the mouthpiece for a new jewelry revolution by presenting a modular product in the more elitist display trays, mirroring that social phenomenon and industrial Italy that was moving at a brisk pace. In the following decade, it was the turn of Jar, another breakaway name that brought back delicacy, won over the most elaborate and intricate tastes with considerable volumes, dared with color and infringed the dictates imposed by the escalation of diamond pave. «Ours is not a financial business», explains Fabio Salini. «The function of a designer is to leave a mark. Because jewelry is born as a representation of itself, it has a magical, supernatural power. It is man who has made it dirty by giving it economic value. I don’t speak with flowers and bows. I use carbon fiber, rock crystal, titanium, mirrors. I want to divest jewelry of its more frivolous meaning and raise it ever further as a form of art. I love coral branches because of their wild strength. The same goes for rope, leather, horn, all elements that give power and that represent my way of making the male and female worlds communicate». His is a world that explores materials, shapes, dimensions and structures with the ability to keep innovation alive and that places him among the Olympus of new modernists. And it is exactly with this definition that Vivienne Becker, the famous jewelry historian, academic and curator, also celebrates him in her book on his future exhibition at Phillips in New York: «Fabio Salini’s modernist jewelry shows a strong determination to innovate, dare, and a desire to rekindle that spirit of audacity and modernity, the only levers for furthering jewelry evolution».

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