Girls at Play, new paintings and drawings by Derek Marks, can be divided into three themes: girls dangling, girls drawing and girls making pacts; each representing something of the cloistered worlds of privacy and uniformity.
The subjects portrayed are not aware or even interested in the viewer, but only in their activities and, to varying degrees, each other. These images do not only represent play but are playful.
Often the girls faces are averted from view and their individuality hidden with uniform clothing. While at the same time, there is a powerful sense of society and of belonging, reinforced by the compactness of the groupings. The work becomes conversations about identity, both singular and group.
This playfulness is also found in the execution of the work – colour separates one part of the body from another with no visible flesh to make the link, but the construction of the body is such, that one is left with no doubt of the understanding of human anatomy underpinning such decisions. What appears absent at first, makes itself quite present in time.
These are sensual works paying homage to the charm and beauty of youth – evoking strong references to a more innocent state of being, while displaying an absolute joy in the art of image making and painting.