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Piepenbrok,Matthew-Baby Totems 1 - 2
Baby Totems 1 - 2 / Other / 36" x 9"x 12" / 2000.00 USD


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Artist Information:
Name   : Matthew Piepenbrok
Location: Merrill  
  United States
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Matthew Piepenbrok

I use the multiple in space, inherent in the molding process to manipulate the emotional impact and intellectual capacity of, me and my viewer. My bodies of work cover several topics ranging from lost and forgotten childhoods to my life-long fascination with hand grenades. Currently I am exploring the notions of axis mundi; the center of the human world and imago mundi; the idea of false or imaginary center. Which I have begun to express through my explorations of totem forms incorporating experimental multi-part mold blown forms. However, my work derives from my passion to explore my medium within an intellectual institution that supports the range of facilities interdisciplinary approaches that are needed to pursue my work. By embracing my appetite of fire and my necessity to create I have found the sculpture arena a breeding ground of artistic exploration. The idea that fire/heat as a tool is a profound notion I wish to continue to explore and exploit through my abilities in casting and manipulation of a myriad of materials and metallurgy. The arts have taken me into the depths of the Ecuadorian lowland Amazon rainforest to be among several indigenous egalitarian peoples including the Huaorani, I was given the status of honorary brother "Moi". I have discovered that art is a gateway to understand the lives and minds of the artist and the culture they are from.. Here I was given insight into traditional carvings techniques. Retrospectively I could say I found some kind of amazing artistic identity, however the understanding gained from the views of egalitarian tribal cultures, was a holistic understanding of culturally distinct artistic identities working for a common goal, be it the weaving pasterns of the Otavalenos, traditional woods used in the making of sacrificial Huaorani "hunting" spears, inking patterns of a Tsachila shaman tattoos, or a pottery sherd left behind by native peoples thousands of years ago. This holistic approach to understanding has had direct influence on my art and instructional teaching. As an undergraduate in the university system I have been educated in the three dimensional and two dimensional arts programs, extensive research in art history, as well as anthropology in two universities. An associate degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in both two dimensional and three dimensional studio arts have given me an thorough range of artistic techniques and methods: oil painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, mold making, casting (bronze, aluminum, ceramics, and glass), glassblowing, welding, fabrication, and ceramics. Understanding the finer working of the art studios as a technician/instructor has given me the opportunity to learn the inner workings of the studio. Learning skills such as, classroom preparation for specific drawing, painting, sculpture, and glass studios (cleaning, maintenance, research materials), selection and replacement of slides used in lectures(with cultural and historical reference), helping and researching for grant proposals, maintenance of glassblowing furnaces and annealers (included element replacement and reconstruction of furnace doors and glory holes), operation of printing beds, photographic enlargers, gas foundry burnout kilns, foundry furnace, and classroom demonstrations. Having learned the technical skills involved in building and operating a functional studio space has given me my first glimpse into the world of teaching and the satisfaction of watching students learn and grow in their artistic endeavors. Instructional training as an artist has fundamentally allowed a growth in my ability to communicate with individuals in a clear and direct manner, to incubate the artistic learning process, thereby being capable of maintaining a productive dedicated artistic community between students and myself. It is my intention to continue down this path of artistic teaching within the university level, continuing to grow in my own artistic endeavors.
Spectators are unable or unwilling to approach a piece void of pre-conceived prejudice. An obstacle we as artists all face. Using these pre-conceived notions I beckon for one moment of realization frozen in time and space. In each of us this moment differs, however, the emotional ties broken during this separation from the collective are felt by all. These emotions span all cultural and social strata. It's this act that gives life to the lifeless. This is my greatest pleasure and my gift to you; Living art. Everything wants to be something, to be part of something better. Animate and inanimate, wanting to realize, to be self-aware, to understand an existence separated from the justifiable collective, to begin a new chapter in a book already written. My current body of work investigates the notion of childhood, asking questions like: When did it Begin? When did it end? Where did it go? My work derives from the interpretations of my surroundings through available materials and knowledge. Forgotten and Lost-This installation is a memoir of lost and/or stolen childhood. "Forgotten and Lost" includes doll plaques, totems, and hand grenade dolls. There are several different variants of the installation depending upon location and available space. However, the addition of the Barbier with the plaques helps reiterate the destructive behavior implicit in social idealization and its effects on our society as well as the grenade pins held in the Babies'r hands. Each of the babies has in turn pulled the pin on the Barbier resulting in a depiction of what occurs when placing such restraints upon childhood. My work progresses through a myriad of discarded fashion dolls and hand grenades; centered on the notions of the art object and the multiple. Each decorative wall plaque shares compositional and structural similarities; a series of bronze baby dolls and two hands positioned on dark-wood plaques. The bronzes have heavy layers of black patina with accents in greens and blues with high mirror polish used as a highlight. Each plaque reads as a traditionally mounted trophy, but as a grouping they begin to become a collective notion. The Forgotten and Lost encompasses a compulsive human desire to embrace childhood; a childhood we can never return banished into the darkness of our collective consciousness.
Café Exhibition Wausau, Wisconsin, 2007, 2008, 2009 BFA Exhibition Carlsten Gallery, UWSP Stevens Point, WI, 2009 National Small Prints Exhibit Creed Repertory Theater Gallery, Creed, Co., 2009 Wisconsin Arts Board Lobby Administration Building, Madison, WI, 2009 Identify Yourself Group Exhibition Carlsten Gallery, UWSP Stevens Point, WI, 2008 Contemporary Glass Exhibit Carlsten Gallery, UWSP, WI, 2008 Juried Student Art Exhibit Carlsten Gallery, UWSP Stevens Point, WI, 2008 Juried Student Art Exhibit Carlsten Gallery, UWSP Stevens Point, WI, 2007 Mezzanine Case Exhibition UWSP, Stevens Point, WI, 2007 Back To Eden LLC Merrill, 2006-current Mezzanine Case Exhibition UW-Stevens Point, 2006 DUC-Center Case Exhibition UW-Stevens Point, 2006 Arnsbark Gallery UW-Marathon County, 2006 Portage County Art Exhibition Stevens Point, 2006 Marshfield Clinic Pediatric Sedation Mural, 2005 Wisconsin Art Education Association Cover Artist-publication, July 2005 Arnsbark Gallery UW-Marathon County, 2005 Center for the Visual Arts Chair Charity, 2004 UWMC Student Art Expo CVA Gallery, May 2004 Arnsbark Gallery UW-Marathon County,2004

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