Photograph of cactus

Steven Derks is a practicing, full-time, self-taught artist focusing primarily in metal sculpture with an emphasis on ‘as is’ found object art, and a minor practice in non-objective painting and photography. His work can be found in numerous public, corporate, museum, and private art collections both in the United States and abroad. Notably, his work was part of a six-year exhibition in the oval office / White House during the Clinton administration, and in an ongoing residency exhibit at the University of Arizona Biosphere 2 in Oracle, AZ.  Throughout the 1980s, Derks worked as a Native Plant Specialist (cactus cop) for the Arizona Department of Agriculture. He enforced the Endangered Species Act for threatened, rare, and endangered plants in Arizona. This resulted in his appreciation for the aesthetic diversity of cactus and succulents.  In 2001 he photographed a saguaro cactus at night from an overhead perspective. After numerous failed attempts, he was able to align the spines of the plant in such a way that its symmetry was revealed. The resulting pattern resembles a snowflake.

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