My painting “Together” was featured on The Financial Times in the “How To Spend It” column by Victoria Woodcock on November 23, 2021. Will you fall for a ‘lover’s eye’ jewel? illuminates the revival of interest in the lover’s eye jewelry. It is a fascinating read on the history of the jewels, their newfound popularity and how to buy the real thing. Elle Shushan, a Philadelphia dealer of lover’s eyes and editor of the new book Lover’s EYES: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection gives her expertise as well as background on the Skier Collection of the jewels.

I am also very thrilled to share that two of my paintings are in the book Lover’s EYES: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection. They appear as representations of the lover’s eye in contemporary art in the chapter essay “Love Never Dies” by Graham C. Boettcher, PhD, the R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama.The book is an updated edition of the original first published in 2012 and includes new essays, additional lover’s eyes and contemporary examples.

It is also worth noting that Ronquillo’s artistic world―which includes lover’s eyes whose subjects are black―is more diverse than the history of almost exclusively white eye miniature sitters from which it stems. Although Ronquillo’s work evokes the lover’s eye tradition, her miniatures are emblems rather than true portraits.

~ Dr. Graham C. Boettcher

The surreal aspect of an isolated eye attracts me tremendously—the idea of physical dismemberment which is symbolic of a removal or estrangement of a loved one. For anyone who’s ever been in love or had a crush on someone, the photograph of the beloved is treasured. So these are portable remembrances before the camera so to speak. It also reminds me of the mexican ‘milagros’ – little charms of different body parts used to aid in praying for the healing of broken arms or hearts, or even eyes.Compositionally speaking, the framed ornamental eye gives context and a reason for a floating third or fourth eye in a painting. It’s a device of conceit: a portrait within a portrait. For me, it’s an iconic symbol about the figure represented not unlike the reliquaries of saints in old devotional images. The lover’s eye first appeared in my work in 2008 and it continues to be a subject full of mystery and delight.

Hand with Hummingbird and Lover’s Eye
etching with chine collé
16×14 inches paper size, 8×6 inches image size
©2021 Fatima Ronquillo

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