New Brutal 2 was a Black Cube Alumni Project. This project was the continuation of a series of sculptures that hybridized modern American building techniques with historical European architectural features. The Alumni Program focuses on working with former Artist Fellows to continue to support their practices. Derrick Velasquez was a 2015 Black Cube Artist Fellow.
Black Cube launched its Alumni program with Derrick Velasquez’s New Brutal 2, a site-specific pop up exhibition that took place in La Alma/Lincoln Park as part of Doors Open Denver. New Brutal 2 is a sculpture created for the amphitheatre at Lincoln Park. It is a new iteration of Velasquez's largest-scale work completed as part of his Black Cube fellowship, titled New Brutal, which was installed last November in a vacuous construction-site warehouse.
This latest version of the artwork is an architecturally-inspired sculpture inspired by common building materials, such as Tyvek sheeting and plywood, and is adorned with custom crown moulding inspired by embellishments found buildings such as the Palace of Versailles. The sculpture will take on a new context embracing the horizontal aisles of a La Alma Park’s sunken amphitheatre.
New Brutal 2 takes place in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood, which has recently undergone a residential transformation to a more “modern” aesthetic, as seen in the new affordable housing projects directly south of the park. In this context, New Brutal 2 will capture the economic, architectural, and social ideas of this gathering place, which is in the center of a changing neighborhood and a growing city.
New Brutal takes its title from Brutalism, a style of art characterized by a deliberate plainness. Informed by Denver's recent building boom, this work takes cues from both the architectural plainness the artist sees in the design of Denver's new buildings as well as the beauty he sees in the construction process.