Artists Above the Radar at Brooklynite Gallery

Derek Shumate

Here’s some info on the next show at the Brooklynite Gallery in New York City:

Brooklynite Gallery is proud to present our first exhibition of 2010 entitled,
“Stealth: Artists Above The Radar”, featuring the works of Collin Van Der Sluijs
and Derek Shumate. From February 13 to March 6th, we offer up our gallery walls
as a soapbox for these two under-exposed artists from different ends of the world,
both of who use their canvases much like mental filing cabinets to store information
full of free expression and socio-political views. Follow us, if you will, on these
two hypothetical journeys.

Imagine a blender that can be filled with ripe pieces of paper containing creative
juices, leafy ideas and plump inspirations. Imagine that it can also be filled with
lush subconscious thoughts, including healthy, fresh social and political views. Add
in a sprinkling of vivid, circular planet-like shapes. Now, add in black smoke stacks,
toxic chemicals and dust-covered landscapes. Top it off with disproportionately sized
animal/human hybrids covered in oil-based liquids. Flip the “on” switch to this blender
and watch as it mixes and intermingles these colorful thoughts, robust ideals and tart
visions. Pop the top and pour directly on a canvas. …You’ve just recreated the work of
Dutch “Pop-Fantasy Life” painter, Collin Van Der Sluijs.

Imagine if you will, a Houston-born, abstract artist by the name of Derek Shumate with
multi-colored, circuitry wires running out from the back of his head. These wires
immediately transfer a continuous flow of conscious thoughts from the portal to new
mediums and surfaces for fear of losing spontaneity. Bold colors, upon layers and
layers of torn bits of information, which often resemble a topographical map, are
collected from various sources, including but not limited to, personal tragedies,
today’s headlines and the artists’ imagination. These issues appear to be clouding, as
they often do in life, the human existence as it relates to the environment. This
obsessive-compulsive process produces work that is free from traditional morals or
social constraints and like a young adolescent, expresses opinions full of honesty.
That is —to those that can decode the artist’s messages.

So frankly, Dererk Shumate’s art just isn’t the sort of thing that I like, but I know a lot of people like that sort of thing. Moving on. I’ve seen some of Collin’s work at The Pure Evil Gallery though and while some of it is a Jeff Soto/MyMo mash-up, lots of it looks really great. New Yorkers should definitely make it down to see Collin’s work in person. I think Brooklynite has definitely done a nice job with this show by finding two artists from outside of New York/London/Paris/California and giving that a the sort of show that they deserve and probably would have been given long ago if they lived in the “right” city.