Derek Curtis is one of the most interesting emerging
artists today. Over the past years he has developed his own aesthetics
and unique style. In his paintings and sculptures he explores the way
nature and the natural world is represented through today’s contemporary
society, this is emphasised in the work by the use of humour and constructing
forms that play with these ideas.
In the exhibition “ The Hunt “, Curtis produces a new series
of work, which explores and responds to the traditional sport of hunting.
For three of the paintings in the exhibition the artist uses the ideas
and structure of the film poster.
All his paintings are gloss paint on aluminium.The paint layer is applied
with a brush, the colours separated by black outlines, which contribute
to a graphic element of the paintings.
In the works he incorporates some animal and human protagonists from hunting
situations playfully into their surroundings, forming new contemporary
narratives, which are rendered in glorious Technicolor.
In the diptych painting “King of the Mountain”, Curtis goes
against the common kitsch symbols and signs of Nature such as the representation
through European folklore and contemporary culture of the Stag as strength
and potency in Nature. In this work man hunts its prey in a different
The hunter and his trophy is played with in the sculptural installation
“ The Lodge “, where the heroic great white hunter of yesteryear
is transported from the dangers of the unforgiving wilderness, to the
pleasure beaches of England. A counter point to this is the painting “
the Huntress “, where our heroine must enter the wilds to hunt and
stalk her prey.
“ Still Life with Rabbits, a Game bag and a Powder Horn “,
is based around the Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin painting (1755) of the
Derek Curtis was born in Slough, England in 1967. He completed his BA(Hons)
Fine Art at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in 2000.
Curtis then spent 2 years as a guest student at Kunstakademie Munster
in Germany. In 2002 he was awarded a Woo Foundation Graduate Bursary.
Curtis exhibits regularly internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include
those at Galerie Ruth Leuchter, Dusseldorf (2009) and Kunst Raum, Essen,
Germany (2009). Recent group shows include those at Royal Academy of Art,
London (2007), Jill George Gallery, London (2009) and Nave Gallery, Turin,