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Artist ID: 2325

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 to 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 conceal danger but are recognized as beautiful.
Surface for 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.

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.

Derek Cracco is Associate Professor of printmaking and computer graphics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He received an MFA from Syracuse University and BFA degree from Louisiana State University.

Cracco has participated in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally including Digital Printmaking Now at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in NY, curated by Marilyn Kushner, the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts Juried Annual, Love Ladies, New Jersey curated by Darsie Alexander, Assistant Curator Museum of Modern Art , Wrong Time, Wrong Place, T.E.N.T. Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, NL and Risky Business, P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York, NY.His work has been included in several museums and private collections throughout the country and abroad.

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