Lluís Comín (1958) is a Catalonian jeweller who mastered the craft in his father ‘s studio. Few contemporary jewellers come from a family tradition. In his case, he was fortunate enough to learn the trade with his father and now her daughter Elena is the one learning from him. He perceives himself as the link of a very old chain that conveys an ancestral knowledge. His father was a man with a great passion for his work and knew how to pass it on to his son. His presence is quite felt in the studio through photographs and tools that he continues to use. His father helped him to understand an art that comes from way back in time, making him part of a large chain in which we are an “eslabón” among people.
He graduated in geology with a speciality in diamonds by the University of Barcelona and the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. He also studied jewellery at the Massana school in Barcelona. He has participated in several exhibitions in Europe and around the world.
Right from an early age, he understood that he wanted to make jewels that were not simply ornamental. In a jewel, he has a way to express himself with absolute freedom. The only condition is making sure that the jewels can be used by someone.
He usually works with series. For the periods when he thinks he has nothing more to say on the subject. He likes to unfurl symbiosis between the jewel and the person who wears it, so that both are mutually enhanced in the end and he senses himself like a filter trying to express the shades of the world from his own standpoint.
Lluís Comín has his own studio in Barcelona. He creates jewellery in gold or oxidized silver, adding semiprecious stones to them. They are colourful pieces, wearable in a body with a unique kind of lightness. He elaborates the design of each piece and outlines them artisanally.
In Lluís Comín’s view, an object, in order to be considered a jewel, must have a clear-cut relation with the human body and, naturally, an aesthetic, artistic, conceptual and ornamental intent. He does not consider himself to be a person of great returns like, for instance, when Machado writes “you make the path as you go”.
In 2016, he worked on a series called “Ithaca”, inspired by the of journey Ulysses. He considers that the end never justifies the means. Many of his pieces look unfinished. He enjoys displaying the process, while also considering that the pieces, aesthetically and conceptually, will have plenty of strength.
Lluís Comín’s work unravels a mestizo thought. Miscenagation has always been associated with the idea of travelling, people meeting each other and human contact. Far from being only biological, it is reflected in thought, language, materializations of the imaginary, as well as in many human practices and behaviours, creating multiple forms of interculturality. In all these aspects, he always produces the unexpected; it is a promise of future. Every observed case has, in the daily habits, its particular traits, its reasons for existence, its own dynamics.
The whole mestizo thinking establishes a mediation between at least two worldviews. There are dialogues and clashes, tensions or temporary resolutions between two territories, in which the nothing is definitive, nor one triumphs over the other. If identity is never invariant, rather something that is constructed in a perpetual movement, activating in each subject different facets, simultaneously or successively, according to the interactions that one keeps experiencing and according to their own personal history, a mestizo environment leads him them to live in a permanent questioning, while also enabling them to confront, criticize and seize elements from both sides. A porous border is constantly pierced from side to side. For each individual, an identity with each of these worldviews is almost as important as the relationship they want to establish between them. It does not clearly mean belonging, nor does it mean alterity, but an intertwined identity and alterity, in other words, it instils a two-fold rhythm, feelings that tend to associate and unravel (Leplantine, Nouss, 1997).
As we speak, along with mundialization, we are witnessing a crisis of meaning in symbols and institutions, as a consequence of the acceleration of History, the reduction of space, the individualization of itineraries and destinations (Augé, 1994). The great amount of information that reaches each individual, through the media, creates a virtual form of travelling, contributing, like real trips, to establish contacts and generate new visions of the world. There is a new symbolic fabric currently in production, in which “it is obvious that the hybrid and mestizo character of all cultures creates alternatives to the rhetoric of domination” (Jarauta, 2000). Opposing itself to a totalitarian homogeneity and a heterogeneous fragmentation, miscegenation presents itself today as a new way of dialogue, capable of developing internal coherence.
The network that has been established for centuries throughout the Mediterranean basin gave birth to a composite culture, of which many cases of mestizaje are often quoted. Dialogues between different ways of thinking and doing, imageries and worldviews, beliefs and religions, several practical reasons, have made it possible, even today, to observe mestizos in the configuration of buildings and mobile artefacts, as well as in the way of combining materials or techniques of construction and production. The food itself is also an important testimony.