Derek K. Nielsen
out of Salt Lake Valley, Nielsen continues to produce vibrant paintings
with Liquitex on Masonite. After 14 years of experimentation the technique
solidified in 1998, after which he was awarded a one-man show in the Zia
Gallery, downtown Salt Lake City, exibiting 28 paintings of the Dortia Series.
Hundreds of paintings later, Nielsen won the Chelsea Global Showcase Award
2004 and had two successful shows in New York City. He is currently painting
many commissions and working on several literary projects.
“My art experience basically comprises my whole life because I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon. I can still remember looking at the television when I was three and seeing the first public display of my art on a local show. It was an abstract crayon drawing of a snake that looked very much like a Matta, but at the time my entourage was very art ignorant so no one could have given me that input, let alone direct me. That TV moment, at three years of age, launched my art career. It was my ego that propelled me into art and it was my ego that kept me doing it. I simply loved the attention I got and once I got it I craved for more. I wasn’t especially gifted and I was certainly not a prodigy, but I kept at it and got better through the sheer act of practice. By the time I got to school no one was even close to my drawing skill. When I was in third grade I was self-publishing my own line of comic books, DKN Comics, and producing my own Spiderman tales in a miniature format I called Mini Comics. In fifth grade I wrote and illustrated my first graphic novel called My Voyage To Another Galaxy, which won a prize at a young authors conference.
“In my teens my artistic focus was mainly on the human form. Faces and muscles were my specialty. I had cultivated a love for chalk, which is a difficult medium that I manipulated well. Eventually I learned how to render the chalk into photo realistic images and it was from this that my abstract style formed. Hours after hours of tight rendering lead to an explosion of something completely different. Soon my abstractions took over all of my art time and a unique style showed burgeoning signs by 1995, but it wasn’t until 1998 that it solidified.
“Pure abstraction is the truest form of art for it absolutely challenges the viewer to take a step into it to make something concrete out of it. It forces the mind to make associations and to bring out a unique creativity that other forms of painting don’t.
“Out of chaos come some of the most beautiful images I have ever seen. I see this all around me in the clouds, in the mountains, in the bark of a tree, textures in dirt, epidermis, veins and of course the world right next to me. I put this into my paintings. The very same patterns you see in nature are found in my work. But my oeuvre means nothing, absolutely nothing unless you see it. So it is not by accident that you are here reading this. Very specific events have lead you to this last period.
Derek K. Nielsen.