Tobias Rehberger creates jewellery that answers 'yes', 'no' and 'maybe'

Tobias Rehberger - YES, NO, MAYBE courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Bold, cheeky and potentially provocative designs here from German artist Tobias Rehberger, who’s created a series of three rings entitled Yes, No, Maybe.

The pieces were created as part of the Gems and Ladders collection of jewellery designed by contempory artists, with other participants including Carol Bove, Martin Boyce, Liam Gillick, Lawrence Weiner, Meret Oppenheim and Alighiero e Boetti.

Rehberger, who “considers art as a form of social interaction”, has previously worked across vast site-specific installations, conceptual future designs, and a 450-metre-long sculpture that acts as a bridge over the Rhein-Herne-Kanal in Oberhausen. For most previous projects, co-creation with other artists, designers and specialists from other disciplines has been par for the course, and the jewellery project is no different.

The starting point for his ring designs was the idea of a ring that had lost its gemstone. He explains: “Where the stone had been, a piece of skin was now visible, making the ring much more personal in my eyes.” The three rings were designed in gold, silver and bronze, covered with a layer of paint that makes them look more like poppy, playful plastic plastic than precious metals. It’s only in the engraving of YES, NO or MAYBE that the true material is revealed. "I wanted to make a piece of jewellery that reflects on what it can mean to someone to wear jewellery,” says Rehberger.

Tobias Rehberger - MAYBE Unlimited edition; bronze, powder coated, turquoise (3) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - MAYBE Unlimited edition; bronze, powder coated, turquoise (3) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - NO Edition 30; sterling silver, powder coated, orange (2) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - NO Edition 30; sterling silver, powder coated, orange (2) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - YES Edition 10; 18k gold, powder coated, purple (1) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - YES Edition 10; 18k gold, powder coated, purple (1) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - YES Edition 10; 18k gold, powder coated, purple (1) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - YES Edition 10; 18k gold, powder coated, purple (1) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - YES, NO, MAYBE Three rings (1-3) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc

Tobias Rehberger - YES, NO, MAYBE Three rings (1-3) courtesy GEMS AND LADDERS, photo Nicolas Duc