Derek Raymond’s first solo show is on exhibit in Curation 250 on the 5th floor of Mill No.5. This show, I Want To Live, features a relatively new style of artwork for Derek focusing on a post vandalism theme.
Derek began painting when he was 16, at the time being heavily influenced by his friends and other graffiti writers. Soon afterwards he realized that painting on canvas was more peaceful so he made the switch from walls to canvas and has continued using canvas to showcase his abstract paintings, which are still rooted in graffiti and vandalism.
Being a visual person, he gains inspiration from traveling to different cities, with Berlin being his biggest influence and also the city where his brother lives. Not being able to travel for the past year, he turned his attention to Instagram for inspiration. There he discovered an art movement which had existed and had been flourishing called post vandalism. This was the Ah-Ha moment he needed for his art journey as a place to join a community. His artwork doesn’t present like fine art and is not indented to present like fine art. “Finding an audience that not only likes but supports this form of artwork and (who) does it themselves is a crazy moment and a really wonderful one.” This inspiration came at the time when he began creating art for a solo show suggested by Ellen & Frank at Curation 250.
The art in this exhibit titled I Want To Live is loosely influenced by graffiti but it is not graffiti on canvas. It is meant to represent the art of graffiti removal in small or blown out portions. For Derek, graffiti removal is the only pure unintentional art form, occurring after years of combining graffiti paintings on walls, followed by the subsequent covering up of those paintings. Over the years it creates a composition of abstract paintings in the wild where neither of those contributors could have predicted the artistic outcome. His goal was to channel some of that energy into a pieces of artwork for this show.
When he first began preparing for this body of work, the line which popped into his head and began this creative process was, I want to Live in a city that is written on and be one of those who write on it. He later simplified the line to I want to live in a city that is written on as he struggled with not being able to travel to other cities that are more open to graffiti art. But in the end Derek believes that the simpler title I Want To Live opens up the meaning to broader interpretations, especially after the past years dealing with the pandemic, political turmoil and a world health crises. During the opening day of this exhibit, Derek was able to explain his process and his vision and once people were given some context of the show there was a visible shift from thinking it was just abstract art to understanding the concept of post vandalism and his influences.
You can find Derek interacting with the public at Curation 250 most weekends until the show closes on Sunday Nov. 21 with a closing reception being held on Saturday, Nov. 20. For further information about Derek and his art, head to https://www.derekraymonddesign.com/