Robert Derr can be reached through his web site: rderr.com or by telephone: 713 236 8535.
Self taught, I started carving in1992 at the age of 46. On a trip through Kenya, Tanzania, and the Comoros Island, I stopped to watch a group of artisans and bought the femur shaped adze from one of them as a souvenir. Hand tools are a passion. One of my favorite books is the catalogue of a Swiss collection of hand tools titled "Tools, Man’s Dialogue with Materials".
Back in Belgium, where I’d spent 15 years restoring an 18th century village manor, I needed the decorative final of a neo-classical 18th century staircase. If the African could produce such beautiful work with such simple tools, perhaps then, so could I. Coming up to the Christmas holidays of 92 I decided to have a try at a trumpeting angel. I had easy access to the neo-classical 17th century abbey church of Floreff, Belgium where I could study the techniques of the carver. It went faster than I thought possible. I had found my voice. I abandoned my until then career as a landscape gardener to devote myself to sculpture.
In Belgium I have exhibited in:
- Face a Face, Moustier sur Sambre, Belgium
- Le Chapelier Fou. Namur. Belgium
- Galerie 2000, Bruxelles, Belgium
- Chez Bea, Bruxelles, Belgium
- and became a member of the cooperatives bronze foundry Escartgo in St Serves, Belgium.
Back home to Houston, Texas, for family reasons, I have pursued my career with:
- My first one-man show "Ceci n’est pas un cabinet de M. Rene Magrit" at Gallery 3 then on Westheimer, Houston.
with group shows at:
- Blossom St. Gallery, Blossom St., Houston
- Thornwood Gallery, Birdsal, Houston
- Montsera Gallery, 19th St., Houston
- Redbud Gallery, 11th St., Houston
I have taken 2nd, 3rd, and 4th prizes in the last three furniture shows at Kerrville, Texas.
I have now established my studio in a warehouse called The Docks in Houston for over 2 years. My present passion is for bent wood and I hope to include a set of furniture in a show with the working title "Three Rooms With One View" in the fall. For Room One I’ve come back to the beginning with a trumpeting angel this time over 9 feet tall and carrying a painting by a friend, Max Miller, called "And in the Beginning All Was Chaos".