Banker, artist, entrepreneur, movie producer – Roksana Ciurysek-Gedir’s career has been as dazzling as the jewel-encrusted art she creates
Can you describe your work and style, and the process behind your pieces?
My signature style is photography printed directly on metal: brushed aluminium and studded with diamonds and other precious stones: sapphires, emeralds and rubies. In order to set precious stones in the metal I work with craftsmen who set stones for jewellery brands, however for my work the process involves drilling holes in the surface of the metal and then setting each stone individually. Sounds technical, but the finished pieces are dazzling – or so I’m told!
Your photography spans subject matter, from iconic landmarks to intimate portraiture. Where do you find your inspiration?
London inspires me a lot. The city’s architecture still takes my breath away; the city is both vibrant and steeped in history. I see beauty everywhere. So, as an artist, I’m lucky to count London as my base.
London inspires me a lot. The city’s architecture still takes my breath away; the city is both vibrant and steeped in history
As well as being an artist you have worked as a banker for some of the world’s most established financial corporations, from Merrill Lynch to JP Morgan. What lead to you pursue your passion for art and photography and is there a crossover between the two worlds?
I feel that a lot of the value I bring to my career in banking can be attributed to my artistic background. Having an artistic eye, coupled with a degree in engineering has allowed me, on some level, to see patterns that may be beneficial to my clients.
And of course on a broader level, being a private banker is all about relationships. Many of my clients appreciate art and some are serious collectors or view art as a solid investment. So, I’ve been able to engage with my clients about more than just numbers or the deal.
Some of my pieces are exhibited where I work at the Edmond de Rothschild offices in St James’s. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better space. It’s a huge privilege to have this opportunity.
Having an artistic eye, coupled with a degree in engineering, has allowed me to see patterns that may be beneficial to my clients
In the past you have exhibited everywhere from London and Dubai to Monaco and Cap Ferrat. Your art was auctioned by Sotheby’s, Philips, Bloomsbury auction house. Do you have any upcoming exhibitions and projects for 2016?
As well as starting a collaboration with the photographer Terry O’Neill, I have just unveiled my latest pieces at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. It was a collaborative art piece with Faberge and I am humbled to be an artist in residence for the esteemed house of Faberge in their 100th anniversary of the creation of the last Imperial Egg.
The unveiling was over a dinner with Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, President of Jigsaw and was to me such a beautiful occasion to bring business world, amazing people and art together. We had the most fascinating leaders around the table and I would like to think that art was a joining force of the evening. If anyone is interested to be kept in the loop please sign up for updates for the upcoming exhibitions at www.roxy-art.com.
Your high-profile collectors include, among others, Baroness Rothschild, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Len Blavatnik, Matthew Williamson, Sir Peter Rigby and Michael Platt. What is it about your work that appeals to collectors?
I know it sounds clichéd, but beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. Art is personal, and resonates and touches people in many different ways. I just feel tremendously honoured to have these hugely inspiring people collecting my pieces.
Do you have a favourite piece?
It changes over time. Currently it is the art piece I showcased at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year. It is an interpretation of the Fabergé egg – specifically the Rothschild egg. The Rothschild egg holds three world records: it is the most expensive object of Russian art ever sold, the most expensive Faberge egg ever sold and the most expensive time piece of all time.
My artistic interpretation of this was a print on aluminium showing the egg (pink like the original) from the top using 100 ethically sourced emeralds and 100 diamonds from Gemfields. The dimensions were also 100cm by 100cm. I chose 100 as it signifies the 100th anniversary since the last imperial egg was made. It was the first time I used ethically sourced coloured stones. And also, in another first for me, I used LED lights behind each stone, which are programmed to shimmer like stars as the background image represents a star constellation.
Another of my favourite collaborative pieces is the interpretation of the CNBC logo that was also exhibited in Davos. It is, of course, an aluminium-based image of a peacock – fusing CNBC logo and Fabergé peacock Roxy-Art style – with 100 diamonds and 100 sapphires. Special private viewings are available via appointment with Fabergé at their office on Grafton Street in Mayfair.
What excites you in the world of art?
I am constantly fascinated by exploration of new artists, ideas, new perspectives, collaborations. I love the idea of using art and creativity as a uniting force for many aspects of our lives. From including it in the corporate world, through using it as a tool for raising awareness on important aspects and issues and philanthropy to just pure enjoyment and enhancing our lives.
And finally, do you have an everyday luxury?
In a sense, creating beautiful things is a luxury for me. Making art is my version of meditation – it allows me to transport myself into a different dimension. And I consider it a luxury because I am juggling this with a full-time job and being a mother. I have to say having a glass or two of champagne at the end of the day is a little luxury that does help a bit too!
Portrait by Agnieszka Janowska