Artistic co-creation Art Piece 1

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Artistic co-creation Art Piece 1
Willard Wigan is the first artist with whom we work. On discovering his sculptures embedded in the eye of a needle or perched on the head of a pin, we found that we share the same ‘miniaturist’ language and hope that this project is the first in a long line of co-creations. After visiting our ateliers, Willard Wigan became fully aware of what we are developing here: the Greubel Forsey ‘spirit’ and our irrational obsession for perfection resonated with some of his concerns as an artist.

Willard Wigan is the first artist with whom we work. On discovering his sculptures embedded in the eye of a needle or perched on the head of a pin, we found that we share the same ‘miniaturist’ language and hope that this project is the first in a long line of co-creations. After visiting our ateliers, Willard Wigan became fully aware of what we are developing here: the Greubel Forsey ‘spirit’ and our irrational obsession for perfection resonated with some of his concerns as an artist.

Quite quickly we decided to work together on a co-creation; however, it was only when we entered into Willard’s world and he into ours that we realised that this co-creation would not be a simple collaboration. We are particularly pleased to have engaged in this adventure because a few years ago we had no idea if it would even be technically possible to achieve. We had to create a common modus operandi to allow an easy symbiosis between our respective creative domains. It would have been much easier if we simply inserted one of Willard’s micro-sculptures into an already existing timepiece. However, we wanted to work together closely to create a work of art that embodies both Willard’s spirit and our own. We are creating an entirely new timepiece in which we have incorporated a miniature microscope. Although this optical instrument has been developed to fit into a timepiece, it nevertheless offers about 20-fold magnification – and this represented a significant technical challenge in itself. The only way to appreciate Willard’s sculpture will be with the eye placed up against the miniature lens.

To celebrate this encounter between our two worlds, we have baptised this new timepiece ‘Art Piece 1’. Finally, it should be noted that this entirely new co-creation, the likes of which have never been seen before in the world of watchmaking, is still being created. To date it has not been presented in its final form.

Born in 1957, the British artist Willard Wigan creates the world’s smallest sculptures. Under a microscope and on a scale of microns, he sculpts gold, hair, grains of rice, demanding intense physical effort. Wigan is able to slow down his heartbeat, indeed he must, as he wields his scalpel between the beats of his heart. Then, exclusively through a microscope, the viewer can see Wigan’s reinterpreted masterpieces of famous figures and popular monuments including like Michelangelo’s David, the Statue of Liberty and Nelson Mandela.