Week 12: Artist Interview: Piet Eppinga

The sculptures in the Werby gallery instantly drew my attention.  The gallery was full of life-sized, beautiful sculptures of earthy human-like figures.  Instead of the artist, Piet, being outside behind a table to answer questions, he actually gave me and few other classmates a walk through of his gallery.  He explained his interpretation of each sculpture and explained what it was made of and the meanings behind the design.  He also said that his sculptures were up for our interpretation, too.  Ideas developed and he worked to sculpt his ideas but then more pop up and tries to include all of his interpretations and ideas into his art.  Piet has a Caucasian heritage but his art was diverse and multicultural as he lives in a multicultural society and needs to incorporate the different cultures and subcultures into his art, otherwise it would cause segregation.  Piet also just started sculpting in 2008.  I can’t believe he pretty much just started as his work is absolutely incredible!  He owns a house more north of Long Beach and it is big enough to where he can fit all of his life-sized sculptures in his home.

During Piet’s second employment to Iraq, his buddy told him to use the GI Bill.  So he did and came to CSULB.  He started off taking welding classes and then the polish wheel because he though it was pretty cool.  His ceramics teacher told him that he could be good at ceramics if he went for it.  He took the teacher’s advice and now he is an amazing sculptor.  He also wants to be a kindergarten-12th grade art teacher one day.

20150416_114941Here is a picture of Piet himself and one of his art pieces.

2015-04-19 14.59.08This piece is called Songhariganeszzchee Unman.  That’s 20 letters!  Her parents gave her that name and you can see in her face that she is both happy and sad.  Life is a little bit of happiness and a little bit of sadness.  Her large breasts show that she has given birth to many children and that has given her happiness and a little bit of pain.  The thing on her back is a metaphor for everything in life that drags her down.  The bottom part is the most beautiful skirt and the white parts are embroidered flowers.  But just like in life, everything goes old and can’t keep repairing itself.  That’s what the dark holes in the skirt represent.  The urn on top of her head is a metaphor for all the people she has buried.  All of those in her family who grew old and passed away and she has buried.  But then again when she grows old, her younger family will bury her, too.

Screenshot_2015-04-19-15-07-35This next picture is time specific in the 1950s.  It is Piet’s interpretation of a 21st century fertility figure.  The texture of the dress represents the night gown she is wearing during that time period.

Screenshot_2015-04-19-15-12-56This sculpture is called Queen.  It  represents a lady who has nobility and strength.  It has three forms of plus signs, which represents strength.  The ball in the clove represents notoriety over land.  There are vertical architectural forms that resemble stability and wealth.  All of these concepts of a queen is represents a very good queen.

Piet’s artwork is phenomenal and if you want to see more, visit his websit: Pietspottery.com!

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