Art Walk Awards: Digging Derrick

Derrick Jefferies, Anatomy (Muscle), 2010, archival inkjet print, 25 x 44 inches

At the First Thursday Art Walk Awards on July 1 at Pioneer Square’s Caffé Vita, judges Joey Veltkamp, Ken Kelly and Alfred Harris (plus the crowd, which cast final votes) gave the five-hundred-dollar prize to Derrick Jefferies for his print Anatomy (Muscle) at SOIL Gallery. Veltkamp quizzed Jefferies in the winner’s circle.

Can you talk about the piece? Anatomy (Muscle) is a photo of twisted cinnamon-mint chewing gum found in the International District bus station not far from SOIL. To me, there is a humor and joy in deciphering the origin of an image as well as a rediscovered respect in seeing a material elevated in the “high art” fashion. Chewing gum masquerading as the macabre or anatomical is both a subversion of expectations and a revelry in photographic possibilities.

What are you working on now? Some sculptures, such as Gristle, made by gluing geese figurines together and layering stretched latex and watercolor over it. The baroque gestures of the figurines provided great straining motions that served as a perfect foundation for depicting a spasmed muscle or slabs of meat. There’s more ick to come.

How will you spend the money? On a tour around Europe next spring. This would have taken me months to raise. Seriously, it’s a total honor, and thank you.

Attend the next installment of the Best of Art Walk Awards on Thursday, August 5, at Caffé Vita.


Watch video from the July event at our Multimedia page.