Making Fun, a series of new works by Nebraska-born, New York-based artist and Nickelodeon toy designer and art director Derek Rippe, is on display February 7 through March 1, 2014.
BROOKLYN, NY — Making Fun, a series of new works by Nebraska-born, New York-based artist Derek Rippe will be on exhibit at Brooklyn’s Bunnycutlet Gallery in what will be his first solo exhibition at the space. The opening reception for the exhibit, which runs from February 7 through March 1, will be held tonight, February 7, from 7-10 p.m.
Trained as an animator, and with a decade of illustration and toy-designing experience behind him, Rippe's daytime profession as a children’s product developer influences the character-driven imagery in his fine art work. Best known for exhibiting screen prints, Rippe's buoyant and unabashedly gleeful colors, monsters and animals are often offset by a twisted, extremely wry sense of humor. But the balance isn't 50-50; rather it takes several minutes of careful investigation to understand that an original Rippe is decidedly not for kids.
The title, Making Fun, came to Rippe as he thought about his new series of works. "Every piece starts with a joke,” the artist explains. “Some funny observation from the street or something a friend may have said or a pun that's stuck in my mind... Almost immediately, I visualize it." The balance Rippe strikes between irreverent joke, cartoonish images, skillful design, and flirtatious vagary is masterfully compelling.
The 18 x 24 inch screen print entitled Songbirds of Fort Greene depicts a variety of birds illustrated with charm and encyclopedic accuracy. Their "song," displayed in a word bubble, quotes the random, lewd and ridiculous things Rippe has heard from the window of his Fort Greene, Brooklyn apartment.
MTA Bingo is another screen print inspired by life in New York City -- a design that is both Metro-card and bingo-game, depicting personal stories about the New York City subway system that the artist heard first-hand. In the artist’s own words, "The greatest payoff is making someone smile... especially when they probably shouldn't."
Making Fun solo exhibit by Derek Rippe
February 7 - March 1, 2014
Opening Reception Friday, February 7
158 Roebling Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Derek Rippe is a Brooklyn based fine artist and frequent Bunnycutlet exhibitor. He is a toy designer and art director at Nickelodeon, and is also the creator of Dog Park, a plush toy line. He is a regular contributor to Fab.com with his Beefcat series prints, and Not-For-Kids coloring books. His personal artwork often mixes adorable character design with an irreverent sense of humor, utilizing bold geometric pattens and a color palette evocative of print ads from the 50's and 60's.
Source: Bunnycutlet Gallery
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.