‘Artcore Candy’ – Inspired by the legacy of Leigh Bowery a celebration of the wonderful world of make up, costume and gender illusion a solo exhibition by the artist Piepke.
Leigh Bowery is considered one of the more influential figures in the 1980s and 1990s London and New York art and fashion circles influencing a generation of artists and designers, making a name for himself by dramatic performances of dance, music and simple exhibitionism, while wearing bizarre and very original outfits of his own design.
I studied fashion and textile design long long ago. At that time I discovered I was more interested in creating crazy characters in their (un)natural surrounding then the actual making of the garments itself. So I quit school without getting a degree and continued drawing and painting on my own till early 2000 when I decided to go back to the same school, but this time to study animation.
I’m not a fashion designer nor an animator but all I studied and self taught myself, through the years, is still very much present in my work. I do not consider myself just an illustrator, or a comic book artist… over the years it became a mix, a mix of designing, illustrating, animating, lay-out guy, publisher, merchandiser and so on. Maybe you can compare my work process to a photo shoot; where the art director, clothes and interior stylist, make up artist and the photographer are one and the same person.
Next to exhibiting in art galleries I am working for private clients and self publishing the glossy comic magazine mini series, Shoot Your Slut. Working in a magazine concept gives me the chance to showcase different concepts and collaborations with other people all rolled in one publication.
Gender illusion, or gender confusion, is one of my favorite topics to work around. I am from that ‘boy-george-changed-everything-generation’ of the early eighties. Together with that there where images and reports of The Blitz Kids and the Taboo crowd in magazines filtering trough to the little village I was living in way way back. Since then I was, and still am, amazed by people who transform themselves either by make up and costume… or by knives and needles, plastic surgery. I think we live in an incredible time when it comes to alternating ones body image. It’s like you can sculpture yourself, even with gender… it’s not any longer man versus woman, and it’s not that black and white anymore. That doesn’t mean there are various shades of grey in-between, no, it’s like a whole rainbow.