My work is an attempt to construct a language of structure that questions our physical and psychological interactions with industrially manufactured materials that exist in the spaces (both large and small) we inhabit. Through an investigative process, I project varying forces like gravity or tension on plywood, two by fours, Masonite, marine vinyl, acrylic, hardwoods and the human body in hopes of teasing out their obvious and sometimes less apparent qualities.
In my Untitled series of vinyl wall pieces I meticulously hand cut individual strips of marine vinyl and stack and accumulate them onto precut wooden forms. As a bookbinder the vinyl is a material I used as covers for hand bound soft cover journals. The form and process of the formalized wall pieces came from an every day practice of precutting enclosure straps for the journals and placing them on a screw on the wall. As these began to accumulate, I realized I was denying the intended surface of the vinyl and exposing the innards of the synthetic fabric. This creates a new flat surface that lacks the continuity of a sheet of fabric and becomes a construction of sophisticated and subtle color harmonies by way of hundreds of hand cut and layered strips. As number of the vinyl strips grows, the relationship of the visual structure slowly shifts – the vinyl no longer conforms to the shape of the wood form, but instead rounds out to a gentle curve.
Derrick Velasquez received his BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his MFA from Ohio State University. Velasquez has exhibited his works at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, CO; the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO; Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum, Denver, CO; Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, IN; Drexel University, Pearlstein Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Center for Visual Art, Denver, CO; VAC University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; RedLine Contemporary Art Center, Denver, CO; FOCA Biennial, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM; Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO; and more. He has been awarded by: MacDowell Colony Fellow 2019; MassMoCA Assets for Artist Residency 2018 - 2019; Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant 2017; Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum Artist Fellow 2015; Colorado Creative Industries Career Advancement Award 2015; and more. Derrick Velasquez is in the public collections of Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; Metropolitan State University of Denver; Miami University, Oxford, OH; Colorado Convention Center; etc. and in numerous private collections.