Currently reading : RP Encore
Image by JFC
Since its debut in 2008, RP Encore has been able to emerge as a brand renowned wthin the Fashion industry for blurring boundary lines between what we would observe and wear as art: in most cases, testing traditional & modern takes on social awareness regarding taste.
The collision of taxidermy, cult fashion and precious adornment is run by aestheticist Reid Peppard, who creates work with heart firmly in tandem with ethos.
SB: With Jewellery being a temporal means of adornment, would you say there is more of a need to make a defining statement in what you create, in order to communicate the same level of importance as permanent ones?
SB: Why would you say your work is closer to an encore, than a rebirth?
RP: I think of my work is really both an encore and a rebirth… I chose the name RP/Encore when my jewellery/accessories were still mostly taxidermy based, but now that I’ve progressed into cast item jewellery and conceptual jewellery pieces I suppose it really is more of a rebirth than an encore. From the very beginning I was drawn to taxidermy as a tool in my artwork because of it’s unusual ability to “be” and “not be”. A crow preserved using traditional taxidermy methods will only retain the skin feathers and perhaps skull of the dead crow it originally came from, and after that’s gone through the tanning process you can sculpt it to make it look like a crow again, but is it really a crow? It’s kind of this awkward grey area.
SB: Is the combination of paying homage to such a respected practice, as well as creating pieces that will posses appeal (and originality) within 21st century fashion, a difficult balancing act?
RP: I don’t think so. But then I’m constantly working… most hours of the day… seven days a week… every day of the year. To work for yourself in fashion/the arts is to be a slave to the creative ether which is a difficult balancing act in and of itself.
SB: What don’t people realise about taxidermy?
SB: What is your earliest memory in experiencing taxidermy as a beautiful thing?
RP: Growing up in West Hollywood, my mother would often take my little sisters and I to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. I remember the first time I entered the African Mammal Hall… I was struck with unceasing wonder. I was absolutely certain that the animals where still alive… just staying very very still. The La Brea Tar Pits was also just down the road from us, so I was captured by animal preservation/fossils/taxidermy from an extremely young age. I even tried to get my parents to mortgage their house so that I (we) could buy a full triceratops skeleton. I still maintain this would have been an excellent investment, but my parents where surprisingly less convinced…