State of Alabama, USA
Mediums: Paint on steel over panel.
Style: 3D Metal Pop Art
I am Alan Derrick and I make 3D Metal Pop Art. I am inspired to honor iconic figures and popular subjects through my tribute art. This art form features layers of intricately cut steel parts arranged in a way that creates the illusion of an image which is not really there. I spray and splatter paints onto the surface in a way the tricks the eye into seeing a source of light which does not exist. Each one is a hand crafted, signed, and numbered original I make myself in a series of between 1 and 100.
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein
"It always seems impossible until it is done." Nelson Mandela
"Abstract Art: A product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered." Al Capp
Favorite Book: I rarely read books except "Calorie Counter Digest". I have had my nose in that one most every day for the past 14 years trying to lose these last 5 pounds. I do read a bunch of stuff just not books. Books are so 90's.
Favorite Movie: Any of the big budget sci-fi films where the plots are built on science AND are plausible - in theory at least. My eyes glaze over when cars and trucks turn into robots.
This 3D mixed media artwork pays tribute to the 70's music genre referred to as "Bubblegum Pop". In it a visual image of the life of a Southern California girl has been explored by the artist, Alan Derrick.
Can you tell us about your first time creating art.
I think that my first experience goes back to finger painting in kindergarten. My memory is not what it was. I got encouragement from my teacher for creating a true masterpiece, but then I got in trouble for eating the paint. They probably had lead in the paint back then. For some time after that, things got real cloudy. I had to repeat kindergarten and the 2nd grade too. I'm not sure how I passed first grade. It is all such a blur now.
Then I was painting historic scenes on big rolls of butcher paper in the hall outside class while the other students were inside studying; 5th grade, I think. They had these big cork boards in the halls outside each class room. The teachers competed to see who had the coolest cork board. I became the teacher's pet by doing the best cork boards.
Do you have music playing in the background while creating art?
I listen to satellite radio in my shop all day long. The lights in my shop hum and buzz. So I must play the music to drown that out. I will put the radio on one station and play that for days until I am very sick of the same tunes being played over and over. Then I will change it to another station and repeat the process. Sometimes after a couple of months, I will go back and listen to the same station again, but I am usually disappointed that they are still playing the same things over and over. So I tune out the music completely. Also, I seem to be the only person I know that does not like music from my good old days. When I have heard something over and over until I am tired of it, I want to move on.
Jerry Garcia Art © Alan Derrick
This 3D mixed media artwork pays tribute to Jerry Garcia, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and front man for the band Grateful Dead. In it Garcia's contributions and accomplishments have been explored by the artist, Alan Derrick.
Do you have a job outside of art?
I had a job besides being an artist, but I quit that so I could become an artist full time. I remodeled houses. Everyone was jealous of me because I had a dream job where I got to remodel houses like Bob Vela and Norm. My customers told me how nice it would be if they could have a dream job like I had. I had a real talent for it. I worked very hard too. However, I was underappreciated. I was routinely told my prices were too high. I could never seem to make enough money. I would toil at a project endlessly only to have one little slip up ruin everything. It was all I could take, so I gave it all up and became an artist. Now, people tell me how nice it must be to have a dream job like Dali or Picasso. I have a real talent for it too. I work very hard and put in long hours. However, I question whether I am appreciated. I am told repeatedly that my prices are too high, and yet I never seem to make any money. I can ruin a great work of art with one simple slip up. So now I'm thinking that maybe I will become a writer like Hemingway...
Nelson Mandela Art © Alan Derrick
This 3D mixed media artwork pays tribute to Nelson Mandela activist, politician, and former President of South Africa.. In it the concept of overcoming the impossible has been explored by the artist, Alan Derrick.
Is there a message conveyed through your art?
For the most part, my art pays tribute to someone or something. I also like to convey a message integral to the tribute. There is this tug of war going on in my head. I want to make something, so I write it down and put it in a big fat folder of ideas that I keep close. Then I get a message from someone that they love my work and would I consider ever making "fill in the blank". Most of the time, it is a good idea. So, I will thank them and tell them that I will add it to my list or move it up in priority. And so I stuff that suggestion in my big fat idea folder. When it is time to start a new project, I go through the folder and pick some subjects to research. It always becomes a tug of war between the requests and my ideas. Often times, I will give up the tug of war and just make something that did not come from my big fat idea folder at all. And so it goes.
Find the second part of this spotlight on 3D metal pop artist Alan Derrick here: