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My Story

Edwin Ijpeij

There was one day that dramatically transformed my life. I shall never forget January 26th, 2016, a chilly and dreary Dutch winterday. A secretary escorted me to the gate of the multinational for which I had worked as a successful inventor for 20 years. It was the same gate I had entered so proudly before. At that point, tears were barely escaping my eyes, and I had to work hard to keep them from falling. This made sense because I am a male, and men do not cry.

I had a terrific time, had a lot of fun, and obtained numerous patents. My work was crowned by an invention that is used all over the world. I had no idea that better times were on their way.

That was the end of it! I had reached the pinnacle of my scientific abilities. In retrospect, it was logical that my scientific career came to an end. More than this was almost impossible. The door slammed closed behind me, then…… bright doors sparkling with light opened.

Before I reveal you which doors opened, I have a secret to share with you. Because I discovered something that appeared to be far more valuable than all of my accomplishments. Behind every successful person is a reason, a specific behavior, and a lot of perseverance. This secret is just to be yourself, to not hide, to live your naked truth, and to blossom. This is not easy since you must strip off your fears and leave your comfort zone, for there is where your life begins!

Toward the twilight of my scientific career, I began painting and photographing, and oddly, I was my own mecenas. I had previously exhibited and even featured on TV with my painting of World Cup soccer finalist Mark van Bommel, for which I was interviewed by the legendary Dutch Eurovision Song Contest winner Lenny Kuhr.

Oh, I nearly forgot to say that my life began in 1969, and I was born, live, and work in Geleen, near Maastricht (NL). My cultural-religious context, in which I was raised, was extremely influential on my development. The strong taboo of sensuality and nudity in my early years had stimulated and fueled my desire to understand why a woman is so powerful. And having the female nude as the major topic was the cornerstone of my development as an artist.

Given this history, it’s not surprising that my first sauna visit came as a big shock. It felt as though I woke up in the icy bath after a steamy sauna session, thinking, “why should we be embarrassed of our own bodies, practically our own homes?”

This encounter marked the beginning of a new era in my growth. I discovered that the skin is a wonderful organ. For me, and hence in my art, the skin represents inner freedom, purity, beauty, vulnerability, and power. “What spirit is so empty and blind that it cannot recognize that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and the skin more beautiful than the garment it is clothed with?” Michelangelo questioned long ago. The human relationship with its nudity appears to be timeless!

This is a fantastic source of inspiration for me. Aside from creating gorgeous and sensual artworks, I enjoy making statements and reflections. For example, don’t you think that our connection with nudity and sensuality is strange and hypocritical?

There have been simply too many experiences for me to recount in this story, and many of them are mentioned on this website. The most recent experience has been that social media suppresses this exquisite type of work, which deflates our freedom and can even be considered oppression. All of these events inspired me to become an artist who portrays both freedom and oppression. This is important because all of the ideas for which our forefathers battled and frequently paid with their lives are under threat!

Do we accept that all of this has been done in vain? I use my imagination and talents to create beautiful work that reflects society. There is a great deal of work to be done. Do you see how the contemporary freedom deflation extends well beyond nudity, nipples, and sensuality? Do you perceive a similar deflation of liberty? Do you see that democratic ideals are increasingly under attack? Do you also believe that your personal freedom is dwindling? Do you agree with this, or would you like to discuss it with me as well? Then join me on my adventure, mission, and turbulent ride and subscribe to my newsletter to stay in touch.

Sincerely yours,

Edwin

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