Monkey Brains

Brass, sterling silver, stainless steel, zircon, found object (resin), and color on metal

3.17 x 2.9 x 0.87 inches

Photography and Video by John Rose

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“Jewelry is supposed to be cute and pretty”, she shrieked as she stalked off clearly upset. Maybe, we thought, maybe not! What if a piece of jewelry were cute AND horrific? Surprise, shock, laughter, disgust, confusion and curiosity are just a few of the reactions that collide in the space between object and viewer. Creating a context for this collision of conflicting emotional reactions has been a recurring theme in 2Roses work for over three decades. Monkey Brains was selected as the subject for the Halstead Challenge because it is one of the best known and enduring urban legend shock tropes in western culture (ie monkey brains as an exotic Eastern delicacy). The idea persists even though it is a well-documented hoax.


2-Roses is a collaboration of designers Corliss Rose, and John Lemieux Rose. The studio, located in Southern California, is focused on producing one-of-a-kind and limited-edition adornment and objects d’ art, and is well known for its use of a wide range of highly unorthodox materials. The studio output is eclectic by design, and often blended with an irreverent sense of humor. 2Roses designs are sold in 42 countries world-wide and are exhibited in major art institutions in the US, Europe and China.