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Maus  Contemporary

 

DEREK CRACCO

 

 

DEREK CRACCO  "In A Flash"DEREK CRACCO "In A Flash"

DEREK CRACCO:

IN A FLASH

    JANUARY 12 - MARCH 1, 2024

 

Everything from the quantum aspects of the photon, to more real world instances of aesthetic arrest caused by blinding light are studied. Influences range from astronomy to particle physics, shifting and oscillating between the macro and the micro, between the illusions of light in the works and the visual disruptions the images produce when viewed at close range. Some of the works use light’s ability to conceal to confront how our truths can obscure and how our beliefs can blind...

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Blinded: In A Flash

I have created a series of intimate, detailed, pointillist-style paintings that focus on fields of flashes, stars and light. Everything from the quantum aspects of the photon, to more real world instances of aesthetic arrest caused by blinding light are studied. My influences range from astronomy to particle physics, shifting and oscillating between the macro and the micro, between the illusions of light in the works and the visual disruptions the images produce when viewed at close range. Some of the works use light’s ability to conceal and confront how our truths can obscure, and how our beliefs can blind. I’m interested in the ephemeral qualities of light. Moments that can’t be captured. High beams on a foggy night, blinded while looking East at sunrise when your car window is covered in frost.  Moments that are not only concealing danger but are recognized as beautiful. These works embody a nuanced understanding of color theory. They combine the subtleties of color with both optics and illusion to create retinal images that work on multiple levels. The use of the field of single dots allows me to focus the aspects of the works that I find most interesting: color and light.

Surface of the paintings are an important part of the work. The method of developing the painting utilizes dots of paint which are dripped from the tip of the brush. Different viscosity mediums allow me to create different height to each drop. More drops are painted on top of one another creating pyramid like stacks of drips of paint. The goal is to create a perfect circle utilizing nothing more than the surface tension of the paint and medium. flaws in the surface and differences in mediums create slight variation in the drops. If the density of the dots begin to interfere with the shape of the next layer of paint I use a barrier coat of thick acrylic medium to fill the spaces essentially leveling the surface again so, the next layer can be applied without interference from the layers below. These layers are evident when viewed up close. The layering creates droplets which float in successive layers of medium.

 

- Derek Cracco

 

 

discover a check list of available work by clicking here

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "We sat and watched the sunset as the fires burned", 2023Derek Cracco "We sat and watched the sunset as the fires burned", 2023

We sat and watched the sunset as the fires burned

2023
acrylic on panel
approx. 60 by 48 in. (ca. 152,4 by 121,9 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "We sat and watched the sunrise as the fires burned", 2023Derek Cracco "We sat and watched the sunrise as the fires burned", 2023

We sat and watched the sunrise as the fires burned

2023
acrylic on panel
approx. 60 by 48 in. (ca. 152,4 by 121,9 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Interrogation in Shades of Blue", 2023Derek Cracco "Interrogation in Shades of Blue", 2023

Interrogation in Shades of Blue

2023
acrylic on panel
approx. 47 by 60 in. (ca. 119,4 by 152,4 cm)

 

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Live Wire II", 2023Derek Cracco "Live Wire II", 2023

Live Wire II

2023
acrylic on panel
approx. 44 by 35 in. (ca. 111,8 by 88,9 cm)

 

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Radiant IV", 2023Derek Cracco "Radiant IV", 2023

Radiant IV

2023
acrylic on panel
approx. 30 by 24 in. (ca. 76,2 by 61 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Roman Candle", 2023Derek Cracco "Roman Candle", 2023

Roman Candle

2023
acrylic on panel
approx. 30 by 24 in. (ca. 76,2 by 61 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Radiant V", 2023Derek Cracco "Radiant V", 2023

Radiant V

2023
acrylic on panel
approx. 30 by 24 in. (ca. 76,2 by 61 cm)

 

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Glow", 2023Derek Cracco "Glow", 2023

Glow

2023
acrylic on panel
approx. 30 by 24 in. (ca. 76,2 by 61 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Shine", 2022Derek Cracco "Shine", 2022

Shine

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 47 by 52 in. (ca. 119,4 by 132,1 cm)

 

permanent collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "The Abraham Dilemma", 2022Derek Cracco "The Abraham Dilemma", 2022

The Abraham Dilemma

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 20 by 16 in. (ca. 50,8 by 40,6 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Radiate", 2022Derek Cracco "Radiate", 2022

Radiate

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 44 by 35 in. (ca. 111,8 by 88,9 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Boom II", 2022Derek Cracco "Boom II", 2022

Boom II

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 20 by 16 in. (ca. 50,8 by 40,6 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Boom III", 2022Derek Cracco "Boom III", 2022

Boom III

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 29 by 24 in. (ca. 73,7 by 61 cm)

 

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "The Burning Bush", 2022Derek Cracco "The Burning Bush", 2022

The Burning Bush

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 20 by 16 in. (ca. 50,8 by 40,6 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Blinded by the Light", 2022Derek Cracco "Blinded by the Light", 2022

Blinded by the Light

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 20 by 16 in. (ca. 50,8 by 40,6 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Blinded by the Light II", 2022Derek Cracco "Blinded by the Light II", 2022

Blinded by the Light II

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 20 by 16 in. (ca. 50,8 by 40,6 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Genesis", 2021Derek Cracco "Genesis", 2021

Genesis

2021
acrylic on panel
approx. 24 by 30 in. (ca. 61 by 76,2 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Live Wire", 2021Derek Cracco "Live Wire", 2021

Live Wire

2021
acrylic on panel
approx. 22 by 10 in. (ca. 55,9 by 25,4 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "High Beams", 2020Derek Cracco "High Beams", 2020

High Beams

2020
acrylic on panel
approx. 40 by 44 in. (ca. 101,6 by 111,8 cm)

 

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "First Light", 2013Derek Cracco "First Light", 2013

First Light

2013
acrylic on panel
approx. 30 by 24 in. (ca. 76,2 by 61 cm)

 

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Sunrise", 2013Derek Cracco "Sunrise", 2013

Sunrise

2013
acrylic on panel
approx. 22 by 10 in. (ca. 55,9 by 25,4 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Just before the Eclipse", 2013Derek Cracco "Just before the Eclipse", 2013

Just before the Eclipse

2013
acrylic on panel
approx. 22 by 10 in. (ca. 55,9 by 25,4 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "In a Flash", 2013Derek Cracco "In a Flash", 2013

In a Flash

2013
acrylic on panel
approx. 20 by 16 in. (ca. 50,8 by 40,6 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Boom", 2013Derek Cracco "Boom", 2013

Boom

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 16 by 20 in. (ca. 40,6 by 50,8 cm)

 

 

 

Derek Cracco "Bang", 2013Derek Cracco "Bang", 2013

Bang

2022
acrylic on panel
approx. 16 by 20 in. (ca. 40,6 by 50,8 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




In a nod to the French Post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat, who devised a painting method that consisted of creating an image from thousands of colored dots, Cracco constructs a series of intimate, detailed pointillist-style paintings. Over as many as seven separate layers separated by barrier coats, he turns his focus on repetition and attention to detail into fields of flashes, stars and light. Cracco’s influences range from astronomy to particle physics to music, shifting and oscillating between the macro and the micro, between the illusions of light in works like Staring at the Sun (detail shown on left) and the disruptions the images dissolve into when viewed at close range.



These works also embody Cracco’s nuanced understanding of color theory. In a lineage drawn from Viktor Vasarely, Cracco combines the subtleties of color with both optics and illusion to create retinal images that work on multiple levels. As Cracco explains it, the use of the field of single dots allows him to get to the aspects of the works that he finds most interesting: color and light. At the same time, this fragmented, pixelated vision also suggests the fleeting nature of both the digital and the printed, of the shift from the Ben Day dot and simple red, green and blue image construction to its more modern antecedent of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Cracco works with an understanding of color theory’s construction of images from three or four colors, but works through these limitations by hand-mixing his palette to show a shrewd understanding of tone and hue.



  

Cracco invites viewers into the intimacy and the danger of light, whether it is the low light of a candle, the flash of colliding atoms, or the blinding light of the sun. His paintings highlight the importance of surface, the value of improvisation, and the simple fact that just as light cannot turn a corner, when you get to the edges of these new works, the illusion breaks down, leaving viewers with the memory of being blinded by the intimacy and the intricacy of color and paint.

Derek Cracco lives and works in Birmingham, AL and has been professor of printmaking at the University of Alabama Birmingham for over twenty years. His work has been exhibited throughout the US and is included in the permanent collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama.

 








Staring at the Sun
private collection





Bang






Just Before The Eclipse






Sunrise






Elemental






Nebula






Cluster




       

Capriccio 3      Capriccio 4      Capriccio 6





Etude 5





Etude 4





Etude 2





Etude 3






La Petite Mort

2009
acrylic, inkjet on rice paper,
glitter, and resin on panel
ca. 48 by 36 in.