Derek Fordjour: Eight Paintings

January 6, 2016 - March 6, 2016

Formation, 2015 60" x 40" oil and acrylic on panel


In his most recent body of works, Derek Fordjour explores the medium of oil paint in a series of figurative paintings. Fordjour explores various ways in which ideas of vulnerability as it pertains to the artist himself and the broader human experience manifest through various recent societal shifts and user-generated news stories consumed primarily through social media. The title itself, “Eight Paintings” references an open-source approach to content creation. It aspires to a kind of objective documentation free of content or meaning in which the search of discursive context rests solely with the viewer much in the way that social media empowers us to derive and produce content largely from images.

Through the use of such various sources as board and video games, carnival motifs and sporting imagery, Fordjour deplores a rich visual language to investigate the political and socio-economic forces that inform the distribution of rewards and sanctions in contemporaneous culture.   

“These paintings allow me an opportunity to perform a kind of questioning that is both personal and impersonal. I am able to interrogate individual vulnerabilities I bear in relation to the greater whole of society, which by extension becomes a search for underlying schemes that perpetuate and assign value through a variety of complex social systems. Much like game theory, there appears to be both an inherent logic and the element of seduction”, Fordjour remarked. 

“Eight Paintings” is a conflation between the diaristic impulse and critical self-inquiry. For Fordjour, the continual endeavor to understand the rules of engagement in life and to deplore individual strategies becomes more about the endeavor itself than the outcome. 

Download CV here and see images of the exhibition here

Read a recent review from art critic Holland Cotter in the New York Times about Fordjour's site specific installation "Upper Room" in NY last fall.