Derek Toomes is an artist currently based in Raleigh, NC. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UNCG in 2004 and has since been active in the art community. Inspired by graffiti, skateboarding culture, and urban landscapes, Derek Toomes has combined these influences into his own personal technique and style. He often mimics street art and it’s transience but adds a touch of the urbane, which allows his work to communicate a sense of culture while, at the same time, commenting on that culture.
The work employs color as a form of process. In his CMYK series, he overlays architectural plans, sewing patterns, and hand-tooled typography with swaths of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, the industry standards for color printing. The pieces layer these records of processes and in doing so underscore the commercialization, standardization, and mass production that enter into creative fields of production. On top of these, he adds elements like highway signs and advertising billboards, dated representations meant to evoke nostalgia toward an unspecified time. His series deals not with a critique of technology but of the lost enthusiasm behind technological advancements. The drawings, combining nostalgia and disappointment, describe a world now indifferent to the spirit of exploration that the space race engendered. CMYK series is an acknowledgement to the achievements in technology and media.