Art With Purpose
A Sit Down with Artist Eudomar Lopez
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
On March 23, The Beacon’s Albert Bustos sat down to interview Eudomar Lopez. A promising student from William Paterson. Lopez is an undergrad and he concentrates in sculpture making. The interview covers topics such as reason and purpose. As well as discussing the new president and the political climate of our nation.
Eudomar, tell me about your journey here at William Paterson University and how E.O.F. played an important role in you being here.
Well, I’m a bad test taker and I’m not that good under pressure to remember things. I’m good under pressure in making things, but remembering things, I’m not really good at. So, my S.A.T. scores were not that good. I applied to school and the school didn’t accept me.
Yeah. Then I got a portfolio review somehow. Right after the portfolio review I received a letter from E.O.F. and Willy P saying I got accepted. They awarded me a grant to come here.
So how does that (E.O.F.) work?
I applied for E.O.F. and E.O.F. just looks at how much your parents make, how much the members in your family make, where you live at and it gives you the opportunity to get financial help based on that criteria. The portfolio review looked at the pieces I did in high school. I had 20 pieces and I showed it to them and that’s how I received the award.
In your sculptures and the work that you do is there a recurring theme or idea that you constantly revisit?
I started with ideas of comforting familial experiences. Then after that it was Dominican diaspora. Now it’s generally immigration. I would say my “thing” at the moment is pro-immigration.
What materials do you mostly use for your sculptures?
Usually wood. I’m not a detailed craftsman, but I do like working with wood. Plaster too but I’ve started moving away from plaster. Lately I’ve been using fabric, working with video. Video is something I want to further explore. I use the appropriate materials for the subject matter so it depends what the project demands.
When will you have your thesis show?
EL: May 9.
Are their artists that influence and inspire your work?
Ai Weiwei is big on my list because he does a lot of activism. Jordan Segal. Ai Wei Wei combines art and activism in a very smart way. He influences the subjects that he talks about. For example, he did sunflower seeds. It was a huge project that was commissioned and funded. He did 16 tons of customly casted sunflower seeds in porcelain by 1,600 artisans that work in China. Its purpose is to talk about how corporations are devastating the idea of the individual in China. How labor is killing the individual in China. Each sunflower seed represented a person.
There was a special a while back on factories in China where they fabricate Apple products. They built a net that surrounds all sides of these buildings where harsh labor was basically forced. The purpose for the net was so that the worker could not be able to commit suicide while working.
I know I heard of that and it killed me. It’s just inhumane caused by corporate greed.
Where do you want to see yourself 5 years from now?
I’m constantly asking myself that every day. You have to constantly put goals ahead of yourself. I’m still trying to figure out who I really am at this point in my life. It’s a lifelong process. I want to explore the world more in an educated way. Traveling the world and learning more about myself and to learn what’s really happening in the world.
Doing that will give you a more probable advantage at changing things as you said earlier.
Yeah that’s exactly why I want to explore the world. 5 or 6 years from now I want to work with organizations and communities to use the ways that the public is being conditioned. Ways like advertising as an example of public conditioning and use ways to disrupt that and to teach the public. Appropriate the ways that we are being conditioned, to condition the public in a positive way. Promote the problems that are not being solved. For example, one of the pieces in my show will be a billboard. I’m trying to see how I can somehow start practicing this because a thesis is like practice. So, I can make these big projects that involve people. Not just an art piece that goes in a gallery. I’m not interested in being at the MOMA, honestly. I want to be outside where people can see and challenge people’s ideas. I want people to understand what I’m doing. I don’t want it to be just for the intellectuals. I come from an urban community. I want my urban people to get it. I see myself effecting the urban neighborhood but not just the urban.
That’s great and I’m all for it but be aware that not everybody wants change and not everybody wants help.
Yeah, I know. I know some people who help legitimize, activate and emphasize the E.O.F. funding for people like me to go through E.O.F. to go to college. Because of that, I was pulled out of an urban environment and got to see different options and things. There’s other Eudomars and Alberts that also need resources like that.
There’s a lot of intelligent people who should be in a university or a college environment but they just don’t have the money to do so.
Yeah, and I want to help in that. There are people who can be pulled out and they’re waiting to but they don’t know it and I’m most grateful for where I’m at right now.
Where can people see more of your art?
You were born in the Unites States or in the Dominican Republic?
Did you make art when you lived in the Dominican Republic?
Well, stuff like my first drawings.
What kind of drawings did you do?
I remember this one drawing through which I found out I could draw. My friend drew a car, a butterfly, and the sun. I was like “Man! I want do that!” So, I got paper and some colored pencils and I drew my sun, and I drew my car and the butterfly. From there on I was like …
Wait, you have a son?
No, a sun. A sun.
Oh, a sun. Haha I thought you had a son. It sounded like you said, “I drew my son, I drew my car…” Anyway, why do you continue to visit the theme of immigration? To bring awareness?
I started with talking about weird things, but progressively I started talking more about what’s happening now.
Especially right now, right?
Yes! So, this show that’s coming up will be about right now, what’s happening in the present.
What do you think about Trump?
You know some of the work I do is directed at what I observed once he won. Not only once he won, but once everybody realized, sh**, maybe America isn’t as evolutionary as we thought it was. Even while working its way up, the way the country was accepting his racism, his misogyny and just how he is as a character. The people who are against it, which is a large portion, split the country in half. Young people especially started noticing like wow I’m not in the America that I thought I was in. I thought America was pass this you know what I mean? Back to what I think about Trump. As bad as he is, he is bringing out a lot of action out of people. Even with me. I never paid attention to all the other presidents’ cabinets and what’s really happening. I now educated myself on who these people are. It’s going get tough, but I feel like I’m ready to embrace it. It’s bad and things like this have been happening for the last 100 years. We’ve had these moments in history where sh** just hits the fan.
Yeah, we have to embrace it. The skills I’ve acquired here at the university like taking imagery and making a statement with it, this is what I want to do right now. Things will never be a 100% right. Have you watched “Before the Flood”?
Leonardo Dicaprio worked on a documentary for a couple of years named, “Before the Flood.” It’s very informative. I watched it and jotted down some things that went along with what I am working on right now. Trump is a reflection of half of the people in America. A quote that one of the senators from Bush’s cabinet said, “The president’s view is reflected on the public’s view to create change.” He used an example about how Obama was completely against gay marriage in 2008. After the polls increased by accepting gay marriage, Obama accepted it. One of the things he said that goes with what I’m talking about is that, “elected leaders are essentially elected followers.”
So, with Obama there was a majority that wanted gay marriages to happen. He switched up his plan even if he doesn’t accept it, just to satisfy the people so he can be in office? Is Trump different?
They are both elected followers they have to follow with what the public wants. The difference with Trump is that he’s an iconoclast. He completely changed what being a president is. He is still following in traditional terms but as an example he doesn’t even live in the White House. All the money is going into protecting him and his wife, his NY residencies, the Trump Towers and his kids. All previous presidents lived in the White House. He’s changing and shifting the idea of modern presidency. He is still an elected follower. Even if Trump is there to completely change it, he still has to subdue to what the public’s view is in most cases. For example, the travel ban. It banned seven countries even people who were already citizens here. A lot of them were Muslims that were not allowed to come back into America. People were stuck at airports. They renamed it the “Muslim Ban.” People protested a lot and it got a lot of attention. They took it to federal court and it had to be lifted, it had to be changed. Even though he is President Trump, you see how he still had to change his primary…
For the people, right?
The people need that change. That’s my view for the next four years. He’s going to be challenging us like that and we’re going to be challenging him just as hard.
A lot of people are just sucked into the TV and the internet.
It can be technology, but I think technology and the internet has a lot of things going for it.
The bad part is that we are all living in our little world and it sucks and the whole point is to connect us more and it’s doing the opposite, but it also connects us in a way. It’s like challenging us with what’s happening right now. For example, if there was no internet we wouldn’t know what Trump’s ideas are, because people couldn’t check resources so fast. If people just heard a bunch of this stuff, people would be like, “Oh, ok I guess I believe that. I guess black people are horrible, I guess Muslims are killers, I guess Latinos are all bad people.”
Imagine how much worse it would be without the internet. So, people can go on the internet, check with their people, check what their friends are saying, check on Google, check on all these resources and really educate themselves even if it’s just a little bit. Information is going fast maybe too fast for us to handle that’s why we’re in our own little bubbles. I think with technology and the whole one-eyed monster thing it does have that going for itself. The internet is definitely an influential part of humanity right now.
The Beacon would like to thank Mr. Lopez for his time.
Anyone interested in viewing his work can visit eudomarlopez.com.