Artist Spotlight: Derek Gores

In his popular collage portraits, Derek Gores recycles magazines, labels, and assorted found analog and digital materials to create the works on canvas. The series showcases Gores’ contrasting interests in the living beauty of the figure, the mechanically angular and abstract design aesthetics of fashion, and a fearless sense of play.

One of the easiest ways to create art is by putting a collage together. I used to love it back in the school yard days. It was simple, yet fun and effective.

Florida-based artist Derek Gores creates brilliant collage masterpieces on canvas using recycling magazines, labels, and other found materials. Over the years, he has become a master at controlling chaos within his artwork, which is what you see when you look at his artworks up close, with the random display of paper scraps and whatnot.

But from afar, the viewer sees a true aesthetically pleasing masterpiece.

“I start with a photo shoot, play around deconstructing digitally, and then recreate the tones on canvas with aggressive textures from magazines, maps, song lyrics, etc. I was the typical artist at age 17 but saw the light at the end of that particular tunnel when I was introduced to swashbuckling painters and talking trees and have been fleeing forward into looseness ever since.

“I now like tools that are big and clumsy and open up the range of touch, including the process of ripping paper in collage. What I initially thought of as an academic exercise has become heavier and more real than anything else I’ve sunk my teeth into. I started with my love of the figure, the living breathing real thing, and with this fashion/ German expressionist aesthetic I get to mix in abstract art and shape play.” – Gores.

Counting Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Franz Kline amongst his major influences, Gores seeks to be an artist for the people. Derek Gores is a creative who makes it his mission to prove that art can be accessible to all. Using ordinary everyday materials like paper, Gores feels his pieces bridge the gap between artist and viewer, allowing everyone to enjoy the simple visual stimulation a piece of artwork can produce.

As the artist puts it himself, “When it goes well, I hope to create a real experience, instead of just a picture of an experience. But that sounds a little too huge… really I’m searching for that feeling of having the eyes of a kid, where everything is new.”

Sometimes I feel that that is how we all should be – adults but with the curious mind of a child’s – constantly asking questions and seeing things for the first time. Every time I see my nephew and niece, they make me wish that I were as curious as they were.

Derek Gores’ work provides a sense of mystery and definitely leaves me curious, yet intrigued at the same time.

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