Thursday, May 23, 2013
7 News Features: Soap Surprise
A local artist is really giving new meaning to throwing himself into his work. 7's Belkys Nerey shows us this "Soap Surprise."
Local artist Orestes De La Paz is showing off his latest creation.
Orestes De La Paz: "It's 30 percent organic coconut oil, 30 percent organic vegetable shortening, 25 percent human body fat."
Wait. What did he say?
Orestes De La Paz: "Twenty-five percent human body fat."
Soap made out of human body fat?
Orestes De La Paz: "What you're looking at right now specifically are 20 bars of soap made from human liposuctioned fat."
More specifically, these bars are made out of De La Paz' own body fat.
Orestes De La Paz: "This is from my own body completely, yes."
He got the idea when he made the decision to undergo liposuction. He asked his doctor if he could videotape the procedure and keep the fat.
Orestes De La Paz: "He said, 'Well, you're going to have to convert it into something and turn it into something that would keep better, because it is human fat."
So De La Paz documented the entire experience. He kept his fat in the freezer for three months, then made soap out of it.
Orestes De La Paz: "I mixed 30 percent organic coconut oil, 30 percent organic vegetable shortening, 25% performance artist and 15% shea butter."
The concept behind the project: changing the way people perceive what's beautiful, and what's not.
Orestes De La Paz: "Where you take something out of your body that's seen as repulsive or gross, you don't want it, and then converting it into something that's very clean and healthful."
The soap is on display at FIU's Frost Art Museum. Part of the art exhibit includes having people try his soap. These women lathered up ... and loved it.
Meenal Sawant: "So soft, smells really good."
Eva Wales: "Soft, smooth, umm, luscious."
De La Paz is pleased his project is doing just what he set out to do: evoke a reaction.
Orestes De La Paz: "So it's a different experience for everyone. Everyone has a different approach to the body, to soap, to how we treat each other and see ourselves."
What will his next project be? Whatever it is, we're sure it will be a talker.
Orestes De La Paz: "I think with any great performance, there needs to be some wow and some sparkle and some glitter."
De La Paz just graduated with his Bachelor's in Fine Arts and plans to become an art professor. If you want to check out his project, "Making Soap," it will be on display at FIU's main campus for the next year.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum:
Florida International University
10975 SW 17th Street
Miami, FL 33199
Tel: (305) 348-4799