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Eighty Layer Cake: Derrick Velasquez' mixed media works on view at Pentimenti Gallery
Untitled 64, 30 x 24 x 1,5 inches, marine vinyl, walnut, 2013.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Pentimenti Gallery announced a new solo exhibition by Derrick Velasquez. In his first Philadelphia show, Velasquez will present 13 wall pieces, 6 photos, and 1 draped structure installation in the Project Room.

Derrick Velasquez investigates tension and gravity. His works challenge materials and it’s form. He attempts to ‘construct a language of structure that questions our physical and psychological interactions with industrially manufactured materials that exits in the spaces we inhabit’.

In his series Untitled, Velasquez uses marine vinyl, acrylic and hardwoods to create organic and natural forms. A visual tension of gravity between the relationship of the materials is formed as a result of stacking them together. He meticulously hand cuts individual strips of marine vinyl that are then placed and accumulated onto precut abstract wooden forms. Challenging the point of perspective when we look at fabric materials, Velasquez displays for us the side view of the vinyl creating a subtle color harmony that exists by way of hundreds of hand cut layered strips of marine vinyl.

Velasquez’s series Untitled (draped body) is a work that originates from his process discovering a direct relationship with the vinyl. When he moves the vinyl to cut, he drapes it over himself to prepare and transport. Velasquez started to imagine the visual qualities of vinyl as he continued to work within the process of carrying large sheets of vinyl to be cut into strips. The resulting image being an embodiment of the craft, using his own body to influence the form of the vinyl. This alternative relationship of gravity and tension produces a new image and form originating from his self visualization of his studio process.

Untitled (draped structure 2) is a piece inspired while driving over bridges. Velasquez takes the language that exists within a bridge and references the mechanical aspects of engineering and physics of a form that has a different set of parameters than the human body. Velasquez drapes the vinyl over an invented structure aiming for an indirect narrative and association between edifice and drapery. Ideas of force and repose come to mind as one might observe and think about the relationship between buildings and the colors placed on them.

Derrick Velasquez received his BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his MFA from the Ohio State University. Velasquez has exhibited his works at the VOLTA NY 2013, Center for Visual Art, Denver, CO; VAC University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; RedLine, Denver, CO, FOCA Bienniel, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM and Arvada Center for the Arts, Arvada, CO. He has been awarded by: Vertigo Art Space Artist Residency and RedLine Artist Residency in Denver, CO; Fergus Family Material Award, The Ohio State University. Derrick Velasquez is in the public collections of Wellington Management Company LLC, Metropolitan State University of Denver and in numerous private collections. He is represented by Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.

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