Editor's Note: We regularly revisit members at about the 20 year mark to catch up with the member's latest directions and pursuits. We caught up with the long-time Art Center professor Pietruska at the 2017 AFAS show at Pebble Beach
What sort of materials are you working in now?
RP: I work primarily in fiberglass, bronze, aluminum and stainless steel.
Have you encountered any resistance to "plastics" in that people may not want to pay thousands for something that they think may be made out of "plastic"?
RP: I don’t really understand what you mean by the term "plastics"... I don’t work in plastics, although I do work in some synthetics like resin that some may characterize as a plastic ...
You're right, it is a wildly generalized term... On the snake in the Viper piece, did you do a lot of research on patinas for metal... is that acid etching? How did you achieve the patina to make it appear more snake like?
RP: The Viper Sculpture was cast resin and painted using a screen fabric to achieve the texture.
We see that you are having the vehicles bend around a corner... do you get that idea from the way the human eye sometimes sees a car... that we literally have stop-action photography in our brain and can see an object bending?
RP: I don’t usually like to keep the sculpture straight... the whole idea is to create the feeling of motion and speed and what better way than to curve the form as it moves in space.
We are also seeing more of a wake behind the cars... maybe it's water or dirt. Is that another device to indicate moving at speed?
RP It’s not a wake necessarily but another device to see how far I can stretch the form out without losing the brand... but it also depends on the concept behind each new sculpture and what it’s curving around.
Is it a continuing search for supplier shops that can help you reach your vision? Isn't it difficult, even if they have the skills for them to be able to use them in a new way to create the art you have in mind?
RP: Over the years I’ve been lucky to have found a number of people who can help me out or suggest ways to achieve the effects I am after, it’s nice to have some people to bounce your ideas off of and to help me see things in a new fashion.
Finally, after all these years, how is the Pebble Beach AFAS show for you as an exhibitor? How do you think it is for AFAS members in general?
RP: Every year it’s a challenge for every member that shows at Pebble and we don’t always sell our artwork, but it gives us a chance to meet many art enthusiasts and to connect with these other great automotive artists from around the world... and besides we are all good friends and we also see what new work they are showing.