About Derek Curtis
Derek Curtis was born in Slough, England and completed his BA (Hon's) in Fine Art at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in June 2000. Curtis then spent two years as a guest student of Professor Timm Ulrichs at the Academy of Art in Münster, Germany. In 2002 he was awarded a Woo Foundation Graduate Bursary.
He is an artist who explores in a humorous and playful manner the way nature and the natural world, in which we consume and live, is represented through today’s contemporary society. The ideas for his artistic practice evolve from the use of everyday materials used in conjunction with cultural or art historical references. His work takes the forms of Paintings, Sculptures and Installations.
Curtis sculpture work has a playful quirky appeal, from 2 metre Trojan carrot made out of felt to exploding plastic rabbits and drunk, soft toy pandas. This use of non-traditional high art materials continued in his paintings, initially inspired by some fake wood and brick Rauschenberg wallpaper (from the German town of Rauschneberg ) these provide interesting sources for creating paintings, thus producing a fake of a fake. Also being a play on the famous quote of the American artist Robert Rauschenberg, of working in the gap between art and life. The gap between painting and wallpaper. This then made Curtis question the medium he was using from Traditional high art materials of paint on canvas, to more everyday materials like his sculpture work. His painting evolved to using household gloss paint on to Aluminium panels.
From 2003 all Curtis’s paintings have been made using household gloss paint on aluminium, the reflective quality of the surface exaggerating the impact of the bright, seductive colours employed – inviting viewers to enter the playful realm, where fictional characters act out contemporary narratives in glorious Technicolor.
Curtis exhibits regulary internationally . A selection of his exhibitions include , "Stilleben", Kunst Raum, Essen , Germany (2019) , "Dimensions of Publicness", Museum of Humor and Satire, Gabrovo, Bulgaria (2019) , "Mona Lisa", Wasser House Graven, Langenfield, Germany (2018) , "Time Waits for No One", Kunst Raum, Essen, Germany (2013)(Solo), "The Magic Kingdom Isnt Working", Artworkspace / Hempel Hotel, London (2011)(Solo), "The Hunt", Charlie Dutton Gallery, London (2010)(Solo), "The Bestiary" Jill George Gallery, London (2009), "The Summer Exhibition", Royal Academy of Art, London (2007)
He has also co-curated Exhibitions Co-curating group exhibitions “The English Way" and “Heartlands" in London and Hereford, involving funding, installing, transport, marketing for the shows. Curtis also worked as Project Co-ordinator on “Kurt Schwitters in England“, at Ambleside, Cumbria. Was also involved helping to set up, run and document the international conference on the German artist.
Curtis has also worked on charity art projects as one of the participating artists on “BMW KunskAdventskalender” in London and Cologne. Created a painting with the German actress Martina Gedeck and also donated some of his work for auction. The overall project raised €250,000 for children's charities. He also worked as student Co-ordinator for Casa Blue-West in Minsk Belarus which was a culture exchange program working with Belarussian/German students to organise an exhibition competition to construct a rehabilitation centre for the “Children of Chernyobl“.