Utilizing materials industrially engineered for both book-binding and upholstery, Derrick Velasquez experiments with color, form and gravity in his dynamic wall sculpture. Inventive in approach and vision, Velasquez’s layered stacks of vinyl strips placed over wood armatures make clever reference to books - from reading the edge of its layers as "pages," to the top finishing layer of the wall sculpture as a book’s "spine." This series evolved from the artist’s previous practice as a bookbinder where a revelation occurred when he noticed that a stack of closure straps stacked randomly on a screw in the wall had accumulated to visually intriguing results. By focusing on the cut edge of the material instead of the finished exterior of the vinyl, Velasquez denied the obvious surface and instead exposed something more: the woven interior fibers. These matte-surfaced strips, when stacked in countless layers of repeating hues, lead the eye to a careful construction of sophisticated and subtle color harmonies. As the number of vinyl strips increases over the shape of the chosen wooden form, the gravity of the material’s accumulating layers no longer conform exactly to the wooden armature, but rather round out to a gentle slope. This natural occurrence, artfully illuminated and further shaped by the artist’s creativity, is an important aspect of Derrick Velasquez’s dynamic visual vocabulary which also employs both installation and performance.
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