Student Highlight: Derek Stoneroad

Student Highlight: Derek Stoneroad
Posted on 12/06/2019
Student Highlight: Derek StoneroadStudent Highlight: Derek Stoneroad
Kate DeVries
Staff Writer
[email protected]

Derek Stoneroad became interested in art at a young age because it gave him an outlet to communicate his unique world view and life experiences.

“I have been so drawn to this practice because it allows me to process everything I experience and create evidence of my existence,"Stoneroad said. "The possibilities are endless with so many ways of producing that I just can't stop experimenting with new ways to make art. I think it is so gorgeous, emotional, and so honest." 

He loves art because of how it transcends cultural boundaries.

“I feel that art gives everyone equal opportunities to express their own beautiful and unique essence regardless of any identity. Art is also something that has always been present and can illustrate the life of a culture in a way that facts can not,” Stoneroad said.

Stoneroad looks up to Serbian artist Marina Abramovic for her radical and avante-garde performance art style.

“[She] pushed so many boundaries and demonstrated a new side of life,” he said.

He also draws inspiration from online sources, specifically social media. 

“I have fallen in love with the culture of young people that are alive now making art, and I take inspiration from their radical ideas on Instagram. Instagram is such an amazing place to see so many different artists working and it’s truly inspiring for my painting journey.”

Stoneroad himself is also active on social media, using it as a platform for larger numbers of people to view his art. His instagram handle is @nodurk and his YouTube is called Carol’s Vegan Life.

“Starting my art instagram has been so amazing because I feel like anything goes and everything there really represents my way of thinking. I love everything about art it is everything for me,” he said.

Though his main medium is painting, Stoneroad also finds ideas in the creative pulse of music.

“One idea that I draw a lot of inspiration from is Hyperpop music and futuristic collages. The music of artists like SOPHIE, Charli XCX, and 100 Gecs have such a modern sound that makes me so excited to appreciate this culture of the digital age,” Stoneroad said.

Stoneroad is dedicated to constantly evolving and improving his art style.

“The ideas behind my pieces have always been growing and taking new forms. At first I was obsessed with abstract use of colors and paints, which really started my love for making art," he said. "Now, I feel my process has been refined to a mix of mediums that express me. My films are very whimsical and take advantage of the resources available in the modern world. My skill for oil painting has allowed me to demonstrate intimate and ephemeral scenes of teen culture. Finally, the digital pieces I make come from my sense of self-love and appreciation for all things unique. These all combine to form my identity as an artist."

Stoneroad works under the pseudonym DURK. He said, “I really love having my art under the name DURK because it is just comes with so much power and possibilities.”

Stoneroad is sure that his future will involve art, hoping to push the boundaries of modern art in unprecedented ways.

“Currently I am thinking about the future for my art career and focusing on preparing my portfolio for college applications," he said. "I am always thinking about new ways to present art and often my favorite pieces come about spontaneously as a gesture of something new and a little rebellious of traditional art."

The CV art program has played an important role in fostering his passion.

“I took my first art class IB Visual Art as a requirement to the IB Programme during junior year and since discovering this passion almost for the very first time I have been completely obsessed with this world,” Stoneroad said.

Stoneroad has not fully decided on what path he will take in the future, but he is sure that art will always be a core part of his life.

“It really is a beautiful thing to me and am so thankful for everything that has come from this journey. I can’t wait to keep going forever,” he said.

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