Derek Reist

category: Visual,

Contact & Info

  • derekreist@aol.com

Artist Statement

The play of opposites in painting has long been an integral part of my work.  My use of light and shadow to create surface and depth is a way of communicating ideas and emotion. Light on building facades is part of the surface of my paintings particularly when the flatness of the canvas is enlivened by the way ambient light interacts with painted light.  The convincing representation of light also dissolves the picture plane to create the illusion of depth.  In order to achieve this illusion, light’s opposite, shadow, has to be equally compelling. But the play of light and shadow leads deeper.  In reality, sunlight can--for a minute or two--transform sections of shadowed and mundane architecture into a memorable yet ephemeral whole.  This is most apparent in the case of evening light.  When that momentary yet spectacular play of opposites is remembered and rendered in a painting--a representation that takes time to produce--fleeting passages of light and shadow become timeless. Light has another defining role in the play of surface and depth in my work.  The surface light on buildings originates in the sky, which is pure space, all depth. The sections of sky are the vanishing points, where the viewer can transcend the scene.

Educational Background