Derrick Hickman attended the Columbus College of Art and Design earning his BFA in Illustration and later went back to earn his BFA in Art Education from Ohio University. After college, Derrick worked for a New York based commercial mural studio producing large scale paintings for retail environments around the country. After several years of doing commercial work, Derrick set up his own studio with a focus on residential murals and finishes. It was during this period that Derrick began to paint for himself as a release from the demands of client driven projects. Text, advertising jargon and iconic childhood playthings are all elements employed in his work. The idea of memory and its constant state of evolution is a reoccurring theme in both his abstracted text paintings and his vintage toy series of paintings. Derrick’s work is in private collections around the country and recently had his first solo show in Portland OR, Savannah GA, and Nashville TN.
Derrick Hickman chooses the familiar images of toys as a vehicle to explore self doubt and the idea of what is normal, particularly through the scope of popular media, merchandising and signage. Advertisements and signs are one of our earliest introductions to commercialized happiness and our self comparisons. Hickman’s intent is to draw the viewer into the work through the representation of iconic playthings that cue nostalgic reflection, whether real or perceived. These images are often juxtaposed against distressed textures, personal narratives, and the promise of advertisement text.