I went to Chelsea yesterday and saw a lot of nice stuff. But by far my favorite piece was at Black and White ...I was blown away by the pure beauty of the work of Derick Melander.
His work really stood out in the show because of its technical and conceptual clarity and simplicity.
Derick collects, carefully folds, and stacks used clothing to create architectural structures such as columns, wedges, and curving walls. The clothes are carefully color coordinated- creating beauty in the work but with this careful attention also creating the heart and emotional pull. The work becomes a portrait of a greater community paying attention to both gender and class.
It is also great to look at his older work compared to newer work- you can see how he has evolved.
As clothing wears, fades, stains and stretches it becomes an intimate record of our physical presence. It traces the edge of the body, defining the boundary between the individual and the outside world...
For me, the process of folding and stacking the individual garments adds a layer of meaning to the work. When I come across a dress with a hand-sewn repair, or a coat with a name written inside the collar, the work starts to feel like a collective portrait. As the layers of clothing accumulate, the individual garments are compressed into a single mass, a symbolic gesture that explores the conflicted space between society and the individual.
Unfortunately today will be the last day you can see the work and it is entirely different in person then through image...but he will be on my radar now and hopefully will have his own show in NY soon.