Massimo Izzo and his treasures of the sea
Luxury gold jewelry bears traces of Sicily and Ancient Greeceby Henry Neuteboom
Massimo Izzo, craftsman of gold, works in the peninsula known as Ortigia, part of Syracuse in Sicily. He could not fail to be influenced by the massive presence of history all around him. Syracuse features many relics from the ancient past, such as the oldest Doric temple anywhere in Sicily, the Temple of Apollo, along with more recent masterpieces such as the Baroque Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco, the Cathedral (the 18th century façade was built onto a 5th century temple, the Temple of Athena), the Basilica of Santa Lucia, and the catacombs of San Giovanni. There is even a tomb reputed to be that of Archimedes, the great Ancient Greek physicist and mathematician who lived and died in Ortigia.
Izzo utilizes coral, precious stones and other natural materials in his creations, that often have a powerful mark of nature: starfishes, sea urchins, seahorse, crabs and so forth. Clearly, the sea is one of his favourite subjects. Other favourite motifs are theatrical masks and old coins. His clientele includes VIPs such as the Viceroy of Afghanistan, the Swedish Royal Family, Popes, movie personalities such as Tim Burton and his wife, and dignitaries from Asia. His pieces are sold in auction houses such as Christie's. He has an atelier in Taormina, and a permanent exhibition at the Ritz, in Place Vendome, Paris. His jewelry has featured in movies, such as in "Malena" directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and starring Monica Bellucci. Often his work is specially commissioned, by private clients and even by states. He also works on projects for premier design jewelry brands such as Bulgari, as well as other houses such as Ferrari.
The most remarkable feature of his work is the very organic appearance of his forms, that do not just imitate nature, but follow its intrinsic generative processes. This creates an authentic sense of mystery and fascination, an intriguing quality bound up with the riddle of life itself. Such considerations are never far away in a location with such ancient philosophical traditions as Syracuse, Sicily.