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Alexis Bittar celebrates his 25th year working with Lucite with his signature: plastic


BY HALLY WOLHANDLER

To mark his 25th year of working with Lucite, jewelry designer Alexis Bittar - who's known for bright, sculptural pieces made of the plastic - commissioned artists Natasha Law, Juliette Losq, Cordy Ryman, and Mickalene Thomas to create works out of his signature material for a special collection. Beyond presenting them with the translucent acrylic material, Bittar gave the artists little instruction. "I was just curious to see how they would express themselves with it," he says. "It's not a material they've used, and so I didn't want to box them in. Each one of them has created something completely different." The artists painted, cut up, drew on, and varnished the material, among other experimental techniques. The resulting pieces, which vary vastly in style, were presented during a special exhibition at the Cedar Lake dance center in Manhattan's West Chelsea neighborhood during Fashion Week in February, then auctioned off through Artspace to benefit the city's LGBT Community Center. "I love the idea of really treating the plastic as an art form," the designer says.