Derek Dobbins is the first artist who will show his work in 2014 in The Bank. The exhibition starts on Saturday, March 15 with an opening reception from 2 to 5. The exhibition’s last day will be May 19.
A visual artist and a writer living and working in Kansas City, Missouri and double majoring, Dobbins is currently earning his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in both Printmaking and Art History at the Kansas City Art Institute. Dobbins’ work searches for the contemporary shift in the way we view the landscape influenced by the gaming industry. “Video games are a big influence in my life,” says Dobbins.
Ideas about the landscape with a digital language have been on Dobbins’ mind for more than two years. When visiting the Flint Hills and collecting rocks, he decided to put these real objects next to the digital landscapes he creates and see the impact they would have on each other. In The Bank, seven of these rocks are on display. “These objects,” says Dobbins, “are in fact similar to the objects created by 3D modeling programs, which are landscapes, or spaces, for video game players to go out to and explore.”
“Just like I went on walks to collect rocks and photographs of textures in the land, I also go on ‘walks’ in video games. I collected flowers, plants, and rocks while suspending fantastic fights and egocentric quests.” In video games things are created that look real even though everyone knows they are not. Dobbins says: “Now I am doing the opposite by manipulating real objects in such a way that they resemble 3D models.” The exhibition’s title ‘CTRL / LER’ refers to this manipulation.
Drawings, monotypes, intaglio prints and bronzes show Dobbins’ interpretations of reality meeting the digital world. He works with silicone just as easily as with metals. “I am trying to carry over the idea of manufacturing my own objects and merging it with what I do in digital textures. In traditional printmaking I manipulate a copper plate by etching it. If I want the same kind of control as I have with my silicone objects, my handmade molds must be cast in the same way. The textures of the bronzes are made using the seven rocks I found in the Flint Hills.”