Derrick Velasquez


Derrick Velasquez Biography

Born 1982 Lodi, CA
Currently resides in Denver, CO


2008 Master of Fine Arts – The Ohio State University
2004 Bachelor of Arts, Studio Arts – University of California, Santa Barbara
Bachelor of Arts, Art History – University of California, Santa Barbara

Artist Statement

Our social and economic structures are built up only to crumble by way of deconstructive forces. Time, nature, and even something as innocuous as idleness are obliterating hierarchies and creating in-between times when our efforts amount to whatever we can muster at the moment.

My work is an attempt to construct a language of structure that questions our physical and psychological interactions with industrially manufactured materials that exist in the spaces (both large and small) we inhabit. Through an investigative process, I project varying forces like gravity or tension on plywood, two by fours, Masonite, marine vinyl, acrylic, hardwoods, and the human body in hopes of teasing out their obvious and sometimes less apparent qualities.

In my Untitled series of vinyl wall pieces, I meticulously hand-cut individual strips of marine vinyl and stack and accumulate them onto precut wooden forms. As a bookbinder, the vinyl is a material I used as covers for hand bound softcover journals. The form and process of the formalized wall pieces came from an every-day practice of precutting enclosure straps for the journals and placing them on a screw on the wall. As these began to accumulate, I realized I was denying the intended surface of the vinyl and exposing the innards of the synthetic fabric. This creates a new flat surface that lacks the continuity of a sheet of fabric and becomes a construction of sophisticated and subtle color harmonies by way of hundreds of hand-cut and layered strips. As the number of the vinyl strips grows, the relationship of the visual structure slowly shifts – the vinyl no longer conforms to the shape of the wood form but instead rounds out to a gentle curve.

Awards and Residencies

MacDowell Colony Fellowship – January – February 2019
Mass MoCA Assets for Artists Residency – 2019
Joan Mitchell Grant for Painters and Sculptors Recipient – 2017
William and Dorothy Yeck $10,000 Young Sculptors Competition Purchase Award winner – 2015
Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum Artist Fellow – 2015
Colorado Creative Industries Career Advancement Award – 2015
Vertigo Art Space Artist Residency (as Stapleford Collective), Denver, CO 2012
Redline Artist Residency – Denver, CO 2010-2012
Juror’s Pick: Tricia Robson – Icebreaker 2.0, Ice Cube Gallery, Denver, CO 2011
Best In Show – Boxcar Gallery Annual Juried Show – Juror: Jim Robischon 2010
Fergus Family Material Award – The Ohio State University 2008
Fergus Family Material Award – The Ohio State University 2008

Curatorial Projects

The Stacks – Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, CO 2017
Jamie Knowlton – Will You Be Coal, Or Will You Be Waves – Yes Ma’am Projects, Denver, CO 2017
Transforming Milk Into Milk – Redline Contemporary Art Center – Denver, CO 2016
Everything Becoming, Always – New Works by Michael Bernhardt – Showpen, Denver, CO 2014
Imposter: New Works by Jillian FitzMaurice – Showpen, Denver, CO 2012
Complicit Objects: Art In The Age Of Authenticity – Dikeou Collection – Denver, CO 2012
So I Work at an Art Museum…, RedLine, Denver, CO 2011
Do You See What I Hear, Access Gallery, Denver, CO 2011

Selected Bibliography

Ray Rinaldi “Artist Derrick Velasquez Opens a Gallery in His Basement” One Good Eye Online (April 6, 2017)
Edith Newhall, “Art Galleries: Velasquez at Pentimenti” Philadelphia Inquirer (December 9, 2016)
Michael Paglia “Catch Tranforming Milk Into Milk and Blow Up: Chad Person at Redline” Westword (September 21, 2016)
Michael Paglia “Black Cube’s New Brutal Takes on Denver’s Building Boom” (December 2, 2015)
Ray Rinaldi “A monumental art work arises in Stapleton” Denver Post (November 20, 2015)
Quincy Snowden, “Denver-Aurora metro cultural clash gives rise to pop-up art” Aurora Sentinel (November 20, 2015)
Caroline Biggs “Scouting” Domino Magazine – Spring 2015
Michael Paglia “Review: DU’s Faculty Triennial Shows How Vital Teachers Are To Colorado’s Art Scene” – Denver Westword, Thursday Jan. 29, 2015
Kristen Peterson “New Gallery Satellite Contemporary Opens in Emergency Arts This Month” – Las Vegas Weekly – (November 5, 2014)
Ray Rinaldi “Colorado Convention Center is for convening, but also for public art” – Denver Post (March 23, 2014)
Edith Newhall “String and Sponges Refined into Art” – Philadelphia Inquirer (March 10, 2014)
Isabelle Kohn “Arts and Culture” – Rooster Magazine (February 2014)
Nadia Mishkin “BMoCA exhibitions encourage new ways of thinking about old things” – Boulder Weekly (March 6, 2014)
Michael Paglia, “Conceptual abstraction runs through shows at Robischon” – Westword (February 2014)
Douglas Fairfield “The Edge Factor: The work of 8 regional artists at the New Mexico Museum of Art" – Pasatiempo (January 18, 2013)
Toby Kamps “Art on the Edge" – Catalog – 2013
Micheal Paglia “Material Engagements highlights the work of RedLine artists" – Westword (December 13, 2012)
Mark Rinaldi, “At Denver’s Redline art gallery, evidence of progress and limitiations" Denver Post (November 18, 2012).
Michael Paglia, “Abstraction continues to make a stand at the Robischon and Goodwin galleries" Westword (June 14, 2012).
Christopher French, ‘Dimensions Variable’, ARTnews (June 2012)
Max Weintraub, “Dimensions Variable", Brochure essay, (March 2012)
Michael Paglia, “Group Shows are a Staple of the Summer Season", Westword, (July 7, 2011)
Michael Paglia, “Even Younger Than Jesus, Review" Art Ltd. (Jan/Feb, 2011)
Joanne Mattera, “Fair Enough : Aqua Art 2010" Joanne Mattera Art Blog (December 11, 2010)
Kyle MacMillan “Future of art, through eyes of under 33s" Denver Post (December 10, 2010)
Dayton, Ben. “Redline Brings The House." Westword Magazine (October 28, 2010): 24.
Yates, Christopher A., “Blue Ribbon Panel", The Columbus Dispatch (August 3, 2008)

Boards and Committees

Founder – Yes Ma’am Projects 2013 – present
Tilt Advisory Board 2016 – Present
Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs 2015 – Present
Art Plant Residency Board Member 2013-2015
Co-Manager – TANK Studios – 2013-16
RedLine Exhibition Committee – 2010-2012

Selected Public Collections

Miami University, Oxford, OH
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Wellington Management LLC
Fidelity Investments
Colorado Convention Center


Modern In Denver Magazine, Spring, 2024