Many of artist Derek Kaplan’s stunning works are bright bursts of jumbled paint tones, splattered and scratched across large canvases as abstract spurts of visualized emotion. His STORM series, however, takes a different tack, swapping crisp shapes for the soft gauze of rain clouds, appearing heavy with impending precipitation.
The growing collection is gorgeously moody, rich with dark shades and textures that encapsulate the dramatic foreboding of shifting skies. In some, raindrops are conveyed in runny drips; in others, smooth blurs suggest rough winds and tornadoes. As always, Kaplan risks colors that are slightly unexpected, like vibrant green grass beneath opalescent atmospheres and other backdrops turned turquoise or aquamarine.
For Kaplan, honing this new stylistic approach has been an exploratory process – he explains that he’s gone back and forth with each iteration, seeking for the paintings to “become perfectly balanced to all of my senses, and not just to my eyes.” His idea of “perfect,” however, isn’t about purely realistic precision. Instead, he aims for a palpable accuracy of feeling: “I want to ‘feel’ the storm, smell the rain, and hear the thunder,” he notes.
As he continues to develop the project, Kaplan’s personal challenge is to integrate his more abstract sensibilities in these tempestuous compositions, “so they transcend their illustrative form into something more dramatic and interesting.” It’s an impressive and ambitious goal, particularly since each STORM already has a stirring effect all its own.
(Images courtesy of the artist)
Article written by Artistic Odyssey Contributor: Leah Pellegrini