VENTURA, CA – October 26th, 2010 – November 5th, 2010 – Pete Ippel, known for his conceptual installation pieces, has created a specialized artwork for the annual community observance of the Day of the Dead.
Delicate and Imposing Dia de los Muertos Altar made of re-used plastic bags created by Pete Ippel. Installation at The Museum of Ventura County.
In Ippel’s Dia de los Muertos altar he has explored the properties of polyethylene thermoplastic made from petroleum. The annual production of this material according to a 2008 study by Piringer & Baner is approximately 80 million metric tons worldwide.
The 11 foot tall stitched work will move with air currents when the cascading waterfall of bones and spirits rustles as viewers walk through the gallery. The piece’s monumental scale contrasts with its near-weightless materials. By integrating reused plastic bags into the installation, Pete Ippel gives items headed to the landfill, or into the ocean, an afterlife.
When you leave the house, please remember to bring your own tote-bags.
Pete Ippel is an artist and record setting high jumper who employs an iterative process honed by experience in research, athletics, and art to present complex ideas in compelling ways. Mr. Ippel’s art is in numerous private collections and has been exhibited in New York, California, and internationally.
His name is Esmoquin (Spanish for tuxedo). He’s able to make noise with his hip-bell, googley eyes, and also has an extinct T-Rex shoulder. Go get your Open Fashion t-shirt from the Museum of Ventura County and start remixing / customizing!
Skeleton / Calaca Soft Sculpture by Pete Ippel
Regarding the stitching, I used the free-motion foot and various stitches for the accent work around the ribcage. In addition, the button holes were created with a dense zig-zag stitch and a seam-ripper. Inside there is standard quilt batting. All limbs are interchangeable, sort of like a Mr. Potato Head for Halloween / Dia de los Muertos / Day of the Dead.
Once the shirt has served it’s purpose as clothing, the wearer is encouraged to cut out the printed image and create a decoration for their own altar by simply attaching the arms and legs to the torso.
My design is intentionally open, so that the new collaborator can add their own decorations, flowers, or write directly on the printed cloth. By working together, we both realize our creative vision, celebrating the spirit of our ancestors and loved ones. Truly a move toward Open Fashion.