Relevant Data Points (2015)
Derek Fordjour engages with the layers of political, social, and cultural experiences of African Americans within the present moment through his meticulously textured paintings of individuals in various public settings. In many of his paintings, the artist investigates the vulnerability of the human body, by portraying figures such as athletes or performers who are always under the scrutiny of the public gaze.
Relevant Data Points continues the artist’s engagement with celebratory rituals associated with athletic events by introducing confetti circles throughout the composition of the painting. Unlike regular confetti circles, however, the ones on the painting are curiously cut from newspapers into awkward circular shapes; the colorful dotted pattern of the athlete’s shirt is in fact closer to the aesthetics of festivity, which stands in contrast to the grayish brown palette that dominates the rest of the painting. These muted colors, in turn, perhaps speak to the psychological experience of the athlete that is customarily restricted to the personal realm, suggesting the division between interior and exterior selves of the athlete.