Derek Weidman, born in 1982, lives in rural Pennsylvania a bit outside the city of Philadelphia. Initially studying philosophy in college, but a born artist, he chose to follow in the path of his father who was a bird carver.
When he began turning in 2003 he has approached the lathe as a sculptor, primarily exploring and pushing the boundaries of multi-axis turning. His main effort was trying to create a visually descriptive and versatile language born out of the arcing and circular cuts of a lathe, and has spent well over a decade now building up a vocabulary of shapes and cuts. At the heart of many of his works he treats the lathe almost as an unusual camera, with every subject passing through its lens adding to a visually novel circular zoo of animals.
A simple question, what would each animal look like through the lens of a lathe? With the question in mind the shaping begins and even with the most rigorous naturalism, an honest abstraction takes place, and for each new subject that question gets answered. So from human heads to rhinos, mandrills to birds, each idea being captured in a way it has not been expressed before.