Interview with Artist Fellow, Derrick Velasquez
— Written by Black Cube
Black Cube: Tell us a bit about the kind of art you make. Derrick Velasquez: I run a diverse practice that allows fluid materials and media to execute my work. Typically, this comes out in sculptural form but I also do a bit of photography, mark making, and wall mounted pieces. BC: What is the most consistent material, concept, or approach in your practice? DV: I have always dealt with physical and metaphorical ideas of structure - how one object or entity is or is not held together by another. The body is a great example of a physical structure that amazes me as well as the way our government and its agencies manage to function as they do. BC: What are you making for your Black Cube pop up exhibition? DV: I've made an out of proportion (taller than wide) condo building that exposes the cheap bones of the structure. Instead of finishing the exterior, I've made custom trim molding from French and Moroccan motifs and tacked them to the outside. I hope this comes off as an anachronistic absurdity but still exposes the flimsiness of the materials. BC: What is the inspiration behind your Black Cube project? DV: My inspiration is the sensation of looking up. In New York City you get cavernous views of skyscrapers that give a sense of business and energy. In Denver I'm beginning to see the condos going up at an alarming rate. While I understand the influx of people moving here, the aesthetics of their housing is really bottom of the barrel. I'm talking about the aesthetics of their crap box condos, OSB, Tyvek, and the same bland and uninteresting colors. BC: Can you tell us a little bit about your pop up exhibition site, The Stanley Marketplace? DV: The Stanley Marketplace seems like a place that has, is and will be incredible throughout its lifetime. To think about the amount of machinery and production in that building over the years as an aviation business is incredible. I've worked in factories before and they are completely fascinating to me. To now see it almost completely empty is something that you don't see very often in Denver right now. With more people moving here and the Marijuana business booming, you will almost never see a building that has this much character and history ever again. I can't wait to see it bustling with energy again in this very funky area of Aurora. That it lies on the border of a few different city municipalities with different demographics and motives seems like the perfect fit for my piece. BC: What did you produce for the Black Cube Art Object program? DV: I made two art objects. First I made a custom design lapel pin that can be worn on a jacket or put on a bag. This design references the second object, a small 6 x 6 x 6 in cube that has trim molding on all of its faces. These are painted a few different colors. The colors are based off research done in the colors they are painting all of the buildings going up in Denver. BC: Whats up next for you? DV: I have work up in Miami for Art Basel through my Denver gallery Robischon. I'm expecting to have a solo show there next year as well as curate a small show at RedLine next year. Other than that, continuing to try to crush it in the studio and take what I've learned from New Brutal to expand on these ideas.
Derrick Velasquez and New Brutal