Merely speaking the name instantly conjures a vision of a crone-ish knight-errant on an impossible series of quests fueled by little more than the fine line between madness and imagination.
Yet somehow those around Alonso Quixano, the gentleman who one day chose to lay down the heavy burden of sanity in order to become the fabled knight Don Quixote de la Mancha, are caught up in his tilted worldview, and eventually even rally to his apocryphal-at-best causes.
Soon enough, Quixote's charmingly skewed perspective infects everyone, and the world is transformed into a realm populated by beautiful princesses and fearsome giants. In short, a world desperately in need of the services of the Knight of the Rueful Countenance.
While perhaps Miguel de Cervantes' hero delusionally creating the ideal world in which to thrive comes across as an overt example, much of the greatness and beauty that has sprung forth from the collective mind of mankind is due, in no small part, to those who were brave enough to question reality.
At one time, the greatest minds held fast to the idea that the world was little more than a flat mesa in a lonely oblivion. It was the few, regarded as insane for questioning this, that ultimately opened the heavens for us to explore.
The ability to see things as they might be, as opposed to how they allegedly are, is the rarified affliction that affects geniuses and madmen alike. It is a great irony to realize that, in a sense, the same gift of sight that closed the door to Alonso Quixano's sanity will someday open the secrets of the universe to our kind.
madness as an evolutionary tool
Embracing this meme led Morpheus Co. artist Russ Sharek to create Sint Giganti.
As a jeweler, I've found that minimalism unavoidably creeps into your overall design sensibility. When your canvas is no larger than the width of a finger, you are constantly forced to think in terms of boiling an idea down to the minimum number of strongly-focused lines that accurately convey your message.
With Sint Giganti, there was this incredibly exciting challenge I had stumbled onto: The expression of all of these ideas about insanity and romanticism and nobility and perspective in one sort of heraldic symbol...a sigil for quixotism."
This talisman for the positive aspects of madness is The Morpheus Company's first limited-edition collection. When developing Sint Giganti, Russ wanted to make sure the idea did not get "watered down"
Previous to (Sint) Giganti, just about everything we created in the studio was a unique piece of sculpture. Creating this collection gave us the opportunity to present something that is a bit more publicly accessible than a single piece of art. However, my background in jewelry makes me painfully aware that too much of a good thing isn't. So, my comprise with myself was to go ahead and release these pieces, but to do so on a smaller scale.
Another part of the decision to release the collection in a limited format is that I've always wanted to do a small numbered edition as a jewelry project. I tend to think of Sint Giganti as a wearable print series in precious metals. Oftentimes, jewelry in the art world is dismissed as 'product', so the idea that there is an aspect of the collection that helps to focus it as an artistic endeavor really appeals to me.
The collection features the Sint Giganti sigil as a pendant, signet ring, cufflinks and brooch, with each style limited to a signed and numbered edition of 100 pieces.
The Sint Giganti series is now closed.