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Artist Bio: It was the Summer of 2015 when Derek Christensen decided to move to Chicago after spending years in the suburbs. At the time, money was tight, but optimism was high as he moved into his new apartment. After getting settled, Derek wanted to find a cost-effective way to fill his walls with art. The notion of creating something himself came to mind, but he wasn't exactly sure how and with what materials.
The ""ah ha moment"" didn't arrive until he noticed an American flag a friend had made while hanging out with him in his garage. Looking closer, it wasn't painted; it was made from something else... license plates. A wave of nostalgia came over Derek, bringing him back to the art classes he took as a kid and remembering how much he loved those times. Ideas began to arise in his head as he thought to himself ""I can do this but do it my own way.""
"The idea was just to make a piece for my apartment thinking that would be the end of it. Then all my friends saw my work and asked me to make something for them. Afterwards they started telling their friends and before I knew it, I was creating art for people I had never even met before."
While the snowball effect took place, the artist began to divide his time between his day job as a high school social studies teacher and cutting metal at night to create new works of art. He later found himself displaying artwork in respected shows, first in Chicago and then around the United States within just a few years.
Everything that you see here is 100% hand-cut using tin snips. Derek takes pride in the fact that his artwork is made from materials that some might consider junk, which are then transformed into works of art.
Derek Christensen is a graduate of Western Michigan University with degrees in history and political science and he has a master's degree in liberal arts from The University of Chicago. He resides in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood with his dog, Bailey.