Jose Piedra (Pepe Piedra Inkarasta) was born in the Peruvian coastal town of Casma. He developed a love for drawing as a child, and began playing drums as a teenager. Pepe went on to graduate from the National Fine Arts School of Lima in 1987. He became a professional artist, painting in the surrealistic style with oils, acrylics and mixed media techniques. He also cultivated his love for music, playing drums with Tierra Sur, a pioneering Reggae band in Peru. In 1998, Pepe moved to Washington DC, where he has taught art at various schools including WVSA (an arts education program for children with disabilities), the Barbara Chambers Children Center, and the Henson Valley Montessori School. Pepe recently opened the Blue Moon Studio School at HIP’s very own Renaissance Square in the County’s Gateway Arts District where he is helping new artists to fulfill their creative and artistic dreams. Pepe’s murals brighten public spaces throughout the Washington Metropolitan region – check out some of the locations below.
- 2000 – Latin American Youth Center – Washington DC / “The Youth” (Tryptic 15’ x 24”)
- 2001 – Barbara Chambers Children Center – Washington DC / “Freedom” (10’ x 30’)
- 2002 – Barbara Chambers Children Center – Washington DC / “Arriba los Nignos” (10’ x 5’)
- 2004 – Henson Valley Montessori School – Temple Hills MD / “Nature” (15’ x 40’)
- 2005 – Henson Valley Montessori School – Temple Hills MD / “Love Shack” (Tryptic 5’ x 15’)
- 2006 – Children Dental Office.- Oxon Hill MD / “Magic Children World “ (15’ x 40”)
- 2007 – Henson Valley Montessori School – Upper Marlboro – MD / “American Natives” (Two Totem Pole (15’ x 4’)
- 2008 – Corner of 4500 Georgia Ave. and Buchanan St NW – Washington DC / “Catching the American Dream” ( Mural for The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities) 12’ x 32’
- 2008 – Crystal City – VA / “Prism Mural” (Collaboration with Anne Marchand) (20’ x 65”)
- 2008 -2010 – Sun Rise Academy – Washington DC / “Black History, Community, and Civil Rights”
- 2012 – Corner of Rhode Island and 15 Street NE / “Jammeando (Jamming)” 8’ x 20’
- 2013 – William Paca Elementary School, Prince Georges County, Maryland / “Healthy Living”
- 2013 – Piedra’s Studio at Lima Peru / “Involucion – Terrorismo de Estado, 8’ x 8’
- 2013 – Piedra’s Studio at Lima Peru / “Rasta Meditation “ 7’ x 9’
- 2013 – Salamanca Lima Peru / “Wilca Cocha” 8’ x 15.5’
Pepe Piedra Inkarasta’s reflections on his art
The Andes are the expression of a cosmic miracle, which inspired me to consecrate my life to art. My work, be it painting or music, is my contribution to the strong identity of the Andean people. In various occasions my art invites to a thoughtful process of thinking, in others it shouts and protests. My work also tries to capture satire, as Goya himself did, manifesting the essence of my Andean roots, and the spirit of my Latino people.
In my paintings, I seek to capture the pureness, the joy, and the solemnity of a life unstained by mankind’s selfishness. My compositions exhibit colors and forms that, when combine with ordinary images of day-to-day life, creates the magic of my Andean roots. A magic in which both, artist and spectator become immersed in the discovery of a new creative ritual.
I would still be surrounded by the adventure of dreams, magic and myths, in which our tireless search for forms, language, signals, balance and tension are carried out. I am in constant search of places, people and things. I am in search of ideas. I am thoughts of freedom, pain, struggle, life, humility, fate and thoughts of strength and love, listening and looping myself with symbols, myths, color, movement, shapes, rhythm and forms.
Through the forces of colorful dialogue, I immersed myself in a journey of vastness and depth to form a window of imagination, to be one with the music of nature. When painters work exclusively from imagination, doors open to unlimited potentials.