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Eduardo Gomez Rojas’ Sculpture “The 38th Parallel” Will Be Installed And Dedicated To Korean War Veterans On June 12. Public Is Invited To Ceremony.

An Art in Public Places sculpture by Eduardo Gomez Rojas will grace Veterans Memorial Park in Port St. Lucie to commemorate the heroism of US troops during the Korean War.  Titled, “The 38th Parallel”, the Korean War Veterans Association Treasure Coast Chapter 106 will dedicate this moving memorial on Saturday, June 12, 2021. The Public is invited to the free ceremony.  We are grateful to the anonymous art patron who donated this sculpture. The Rickie Report shares an interview with Eduardo as well as the details of the June 12 event.

 

 

SATURDAY,  JUNE 12, 2021

 

 

10  AM

 

 

Veterans     Memorial     Park

 

 

2100  SE  Veterans Memorial Parkway

        Port St. Lucie, FL  34952

 

 

 

 

 

TRR:  What inspired you to create this memorial sculpture?

 

EG:

In 2006, while I lived in Little Rock, AR I became interested in the Korean war. Arkansas happens to be the birthplace of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, who commanded the Southwest Pacific Theatre in World War II. He administered postwar Japan during the Allied occupation that followed, and led United Nations forces during the first nine months of the Korean War. I became interested in him and decided to make a memorial sculpture about the Korean War. I spent many hours doing research and preparing a maquette for this sculpture.

 

 

TRR: How do the figures in this sculpture represent more than the battle in Korea.

 

EG:

First, I asked a couple of friends, who were war veterans as well as a Korean friend who had a young son, to pose for the sculpture. I used my camera to create various compositions until I found a pose that captured the art concept I wanted to convey. I wanted to memorialize the fact that the Korean war was the first time that black and white soldiers fought side by side. In the sculpture the black soldier watches the white soldier’s back. The white soldier holds a Korean child in his arms. His face shows the urgency of the moment. The child represents the Korean Republic being saved by the American soldiers. Notice that the soldiers are wearing their “winter” uniforms. Our troops suffered tremendously from the coldest weather the region had seen in over forty years.  In contrast, and to dramatize the fragility of the child and the situation, the Korean child is almost naked as he is rescued and brought to safety. For me, this is a powerful statement about how mutual sacrifice helps us learn to live together!

Our individual bodies carry the imprints of our lives and our souls. In my sculptures, form is a vehicle for expressing individual character rather than idealized perfection. Human relationships also inspire me. For this reason, I like making sculptures with multiple figures. I also find inspiration in physical movement. Its grace and its plasticity; even what it may say about our brokenness.

 

 

The human figure in all its aspects and conditions is my main source of inspiration. In it, I see the incredible beauty and perfection of creation as well as the raw reflection of our human condition. Individual uniqueness inspires me. Life affects all humans in a singular way. Therefore, our bodies are a journal of our life and an X-Ray of our soul. I find a raw beauty in this uniqueness and my work attempts to chronicle my own personal perception of this uniqueness. The result can be beautiful but can also be intense and even disturbing.

 

 

On July 26, 1948 U.S. President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, desegregating the armed forces. Truman declared, !there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.” The president acted upon the wishes of many people, black and white, who believed that if African-Americans and other people of color served their country with honor, they should not be subjected to racial discrimination or violence. The struggle for military integration in Korea mirrored similar struggles on the home front.

 

 

Original Photograph Courtesy of Eduardo Gomez

 

 

TRR:  What are some other significant meanings that most viewers may not know?

EG:

 

I am originally from Colombia, South America. During my research, I discovered that Colombia was one of only 14 allied nations to send troops to Korea to fight against communism alongside the United States. I am proud of that! The 38th parallel is the popular name given to latitude 38° N that in East Asia roughly demarcates North Korea and South Korea. The line was chosen by U.S. military planners at the Potsdam Conference (July 1945) near the end of World War II as an army boundary, north of which the U.S.S.R. was to accept the surrender of the Japanese forces in Korea and south of which the Americans were to accept the Japanese surrender. The line, intended as a temporary division of the country remains steadfast today.

 

 

 

 

Original Photograph Courtesy of Eduardo Gomez

 

 

 

TRR:  Please tell us about your process

EG:

My work always starts in clay because it allows me to quickly develop an idea into a visual concept. I then may finish the work in clay or evolve to casting the work in bronze or other media. This may take months or even years. As you can see from some of the photos, I sculpt from the inside out. I believe that true proportions as well as movement, gesture and clothing folds require that you build on what we call the “surface anatomy” of the subject. I prefer working from life whenever possible because the interaction with the model adds “soul” to the work. I work on many projects at once because they are at different stages of development. I like making portraits, full figure sculptures and reliefs. I don’t follow any particular formula and I don’t sculpt for a particular audience. I do try to be honest and express my true feelings. I leave the psychoanalysis to the psychiatrists. I accept private and public commissions, small to monumental.

 

 

 

Eduardo Gomez Rojas is a local figurative sculptor and teacher. His work”s singular quality is its force and passion. His studio is located in Jensen Beach, Florida. He does public and private commissions from small to monumental. His work is collected internationally. Eduardo Gomez: Silent Messages a book about his work was published in 2009. The book is currently available on Amazon. His main subjects are people and animals. He particularly enjoys sculptural portraiture and memorial sculpture. He is currently a faculty member at the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta, Florida and has also taught locally at the Elliott Museum and privately in his own studio. Eduardo moved to Florida from Arkansas in 2007. This sculpture will be Eduardo’s third public sculpture in the Treasure Coast area. The other two, inaugurated on 2017 and 2018 respectively, are located on either side of the American flag at the entrance of the Distinguished Service Memorial Park in Stuart, Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about this sculpture, commissions, classes, workshops and other works of art contact:
Eduardo Gomez

 

Figurative Sculptor

Small to Monumental

Public and Private Commissions

Studio: 953 NE Industrial Blvd    Jensen Beach, Florida, 34957

 

email:eduardogomezsculpture@gmail.com

www.eduardogomez.com

www.eduardogomezgallery.com

 501-765-2609

 

 

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Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

 

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