Monday, January 24, 2011

Artist Interview: Derrick White

What is your name:  Derrick White

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:  I have a Master of Fine Arts degree (painting & drawing) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (painting & drawing) both from the University of North Texas, Denton, TX.

What is the style of your pieces:  Somewhat organized chaos-ism.

What is the medium in which you work:  I’ll work in anything I can get my hands on but primarily acrylic and water based mixed media.

What started you on your path as an artist:  I drew cartoons and pop icons all through childhood but actually graduated high school wanting to ranch cattle.  I was inspired to pursue painting and drawing in an art appreciation class taken at Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, TX and by my professor Randy Brodnax ( ).  I had a clash of art and agriculture.  These days when I’m at an art opening, I feel pretty confident I’m the only person in the room who’s ever castrated a hog before.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life:  Passion.  With all its trials and tribulations I still love making art, pushing paint around and getting lost in the zone.  I can’t imagine not creating.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in:  I love good and interesting movies and I teach a Film Studies Art Appreciation class at Tyler Junior College.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like: Having a solo show is like standing in a room full of people in your underwear and having to make up fake answers to things you thought were observable and self-evident…but with refreshments.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in:  I have drips of paint on every single article of clothing I own, much to the exasperation of my wife Alicia. 

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist?
  Keeping the flying monkeys out of my paint.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time:  I don’t know if it counts as a sandwich but a Double-Double from the In-N-Out Burger is my fondest memory from a trip to Los Angeles, CA.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they:
  No major changes taking place but I am real excited about the latest pieces I’ve made.  My favorite painting is always the one I just finished.  

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead:
  Living - Dallas artist David Bates (I love his paintings yet hate his sculptures, which gives me hope).  Artist friend and colleague Paul Jones (Tyler).  Paul and I have been sharing and stealing each other’s ideas for years (that flying monkeys line is his).  Dead - Louise Nevelson (her sculptures of random and discarded objects have an unexplainable power).

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: I wasn’t expecting it but James Turrell’s sky space, Tending, (Blue) at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas knocked my socks right off and it’s just an enclosed white room with a hole in the roof.

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work: We have a little Shih Tzu and she couldn’t care less about my work.  Gus, our shepherd /sheltie who passed away 12 months ago after 12 years, his conversations and opinions I really miss.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: I am participating in 15 Minutes of Fame: Pop Culture.  The exhibition is on view through February 8, 2011 at Gallery Main Street  110 W Erwin Downtown Tyler, TX and I have 20 ‘New Paintings’ on display through March 4, 2011 at the Tyler Junior College West Campus at 1530 South Southwest Loop 323 Tyler, TX.

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