"Painting is like breathing, it is vital to my existence, and makes me a better human" states Derrick. He uses painting as a way of processing the world around him. He delights in the sensuousness and tactility of paint. His art combines figurative and abstract modes of representation using a bold and colourful palette. His work can be both playful and dark simultaneously. His process is intuitive using an improvisational approach that can lead to unexpected results. He aims to strip back the forms in his paintings, akin to drawing with paint, capturing the essence of his chosen subject. His artwork can be suggestive of social, political, and cultural issues, however he is not pretending to have all the answers. He is wanting to explore what it is to be human.
John Derrick is based in Melbourne, Australia. He has had over twenty years of solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. He got his start in art doing graffiti is his childhood suburb in Melbourne, Australia but then went on to study Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University, Australia. He was awarded a prestigious Samstag Scholarship and spent two years studying a Masters of Fine Art at Pratt Institute in New York. He completed at PHD at RMIT University in Australia where he combined analogue and virtual painting media in an semi - immersive installation. He has been a finalist is various art prizes including the Percival Portrait Prize, Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing, Substation Contemporary Art Prize, and the Metro Five Art Prize.