Derek Fordjour


acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel, and foil on newspaper mounted on canvas
40 x 60 inches

Derek Fordjour has said his work is:

…fundamentally concerned with an exploration of vulnerability. As both an artist and marginalized person in society, I am keenly aware of my sense of agency. Much akin to the plight of a player situated within an individual or collective game, knowledge of the rules, the acquisition and development of skill and an adept application of both are critical to one’s survival.

Two Point Bend features a drum major, a recently recurring figure in Fordjour’s work, in a seemingly-impossible physical back bend. The drum major – a figure associated with historically black colleges and universities – is an archetypal figure, a morale creator and booster, and leader embodied by music and pageantry. Beautifully rendered in a variety of media, Fordjour’s work is an exquisite portrait of the figure at the height of his performance. Fordjour’s work is in the collections of the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Dallas Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum, New York. His recent MTA Commission of a mural depicting a drum line is installed at 145th street subway station in Harlem.