Week 12: Artist Interview – Piet Eppinga

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Do you travel often?

Because his sculptures reflected very foreign-looking styles and given that Eppinga had an interesting accent, I asked him whether he traveled often. He answered that he did. He gave be some background on the places that he’s been to, which include Europe, where he lived for several years, and Iraq, where he was stationed at while in the armed forces. He also explained that he came to America as an exchange student from Holland. In addition, he expressed his interest in other cultures and explained that they influence his art and reflects a “multicultural society.”

What would you say the message is, if any that you are trying to get across?

Similarly to what he stated to my previous question, Eppinga answered saying that he wants to emphasize that our society is a multicultural one. He also added, however, that we still shun the mixing of cultures today. To support this, he brought up that in art, most of the big-name artists tend to be white and don’t take kindly to digressions from things associated with “a white culture.” Though personally I found this support questionable, I still agreed with his statement that people tend to dislike the mixing of cultures, or change in general.

What does this piece, “Man-Woman-Child”, symbolize?

Of the many fascinating sculptures and artworks in Eppinga’s gallery, I found one to be particularly interesting, a piece titled “Man-Woman-Child” (shown below). Intrigued, I asked Eppinga what symbolism this piece holds. He responded saying that the figure on the left is a woman, the figure on the left is a man, and the small figure below them in the middle was a child. He also added that the piece had a basis in his personal family life. He explained that the two larger figures, the man and the woman, were bound together permanently by the child while still retaining their individuality. Furthermore, he made this statement to summarize the work’s meaning: “Who am I to my child, and who is he to me?”

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Analysis

I found this gallery to be among the most interesting of the ones shown on Thursday. Though frankly I originally wanted to interview the artist whose exhibit was in Gatov-East, he was not present. Eppinga’s gallery was an easy second choice. What captivated me about his pieces were the primal, almost ancient aspect of them. They reminded me of something from a National Geographic documentary, something out of ancient history. To add to this, I was further interested by the meanings behind the works, which emphasized the existing multicultural society we live in and the contradictory, perhaps subconscious shunning of this mixing in our society.

Piet Eppinga talking about his piece "Christianity Crystalized"

Piet Eppinga talking about his piece “Christianity Crystalized”

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