Derrick Hickman attended the Columbus College of Art and Design earning his BFA in Illustration and later went back to earn his BFA in Art Education from Ohio University. After college, Derrick worked for a New York based commercial mural studio producing large scale paintings for retail environments around the country. After several years of doing commercial work, Derrick set up his own studio with a focus on residential murals and finishes. It was during this period that Derrick began to paint for himself as a release from the demands of client driven projects.
Text, advertising jargon and iconic childhood playthings are all elements employed in his work. The idea of memory and its constant state of evolution is a reoccurring theme in both his abstracted text paintings and his vintage toy series of paintings. Self identity and societal comparisons can be seen in each of his distinctively different series of paintings, especially as seen through the lens of pop culture. Humor is often incorporated as a tool for misdirection much like the way it’s used in society to guise insecurity and doubt. Derrick’s work is represented by several galleries around the country.
Abstracted Text Series
“My text based paintings build upon the theme of myth vs. memory, which has been the focus of past paintings and sculptures. I have used the process of story-telling to introduce the viewer to my own memory and its conflict with self perpetuated folklore, as it is related to my development as an artist. In these paintings, I have literally projected text onto the canvas in an enlarged diary form. These snippets of personal narrative have been abstracted through color patterns and text distortion. Despite the scale, visibility and appeal of color, the abstractions are meant to obstruct. It gets between the audience and the story, much like the way romanticism, ego and drama tend to taint recollections.”
Vintage Toy Series
“I have chosen the familiar images of toys as a vehicle to explore self doubt and the idea of what is normal. Particularly through the scope of popular media, merchandising and signage. They are one of our earliest introductions to commercialized happiness and our self comparisons. My intent is to draw the viewer in to the work through the representation of iconic playthings that cue nostalgic reflection, whether real or perceived. These images are often juxtaposed against distressed textures, personal narrative and the promise of advertisement text.”