Cosmic Twin

Jewelry Handmade in Seattle, Washington

Derek Erdman is regularly called a Pop Artist, and this is understandable given that his tactics appear to intensify the preoccupations of the Factory tradition. Over the last decade Erdman has developed an increasingly efficient method for producing batches of art that he can make quickly, duplicate easily, and sell cheaply. According to this method his energy is concentrated in the plan (selecting source materials from which he will ‘borrow’ imagery), and the execution of each piece becomes semi-automatic, a series of choreographed tasks that he can carry out much like an assembly liner or a tap dancer might perform his job. The subjects of his paintings (second-tier celebrities, flash-in-the-pan current events, obsolete advertisements) are almost always borrowed from the moving spotlight of popular attention, and so the pieces themselves take on the form of commercial debris, relics of the recent surface-past. Occasionally they even turn up in thrift stores. In displaying and distributing his work (paintings, but also magazines, CDs, and pranks of all kinds), Erdman has demonstrated an unwavering preference for the banal and the widespread, favoring newsstands, restaurants, building sides, and balloons over galleries. And he has become an expert at harnessing the special hype-magic of the Internet (along with the party and various other spectacle-events that will circulate later in other people’s stories), which he uses not only as a mass-marketplace, but also to cultivate his own semi-celebrity, which carries his work, infusing it with everyday myth.