STUDIO VISIT: Derek Fordjour
The culture of visiting artist studios in New York is very special. So much of it is about rallying each other on, and providing a space for artists to bounce critical ideas about their work, but it is also about something larger than the work in the studio.
Today, I visited the artist Derek Fordjour who is currently doing a one year residency at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in Dumbo. I was excited about getting into a deep discussion about his practice; his beautiful and still talked about installation "UPPER ROOM" at Robert Blumenthal Gallery in 2015, and his recent installation at Sugar Hill Children's Museum which just came down last month.
What I hoped would be a talk about his work, Derek turned around and asked about me, and kept his focus there. Derek didn't have to do that, but he did. We talked about art, culture, the market, and how we personally navigate these structures as brothers of black and brown skin. Only at the end did we sneak in and exchange a few lines about Derek's work and his upcoming projects. Today, Derek gave me more than just his time and his ear. He carved out a space for me. And I am grateful.
To learn more about the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program visit: www.thestudioprogram.com