Moe Van Dereck was born in Boston to a pair of artists from Chicago and Washington D.C. who made their summer home in the art colony of Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod. From a very early age, Van Dereck spent his time sailing on the bay, a nod to his seafaring, Danish roots, and playing on the beaches, finding 'treasures.'
After a youth spent in school and university in New York City, Moe Van Dereck returned to Provincetown to ply his musical talents as a blues guitarist, and became a founding member of the original Provincetown Jug and Marching Band. A prominent member of this bohemian enclave, he, at various times, served as volunteer fireman, paramedic, and even fire chief. He worked in restaurants in the summer tourist season, most particularly Ciro and Sal's, where the staff would gather after hours for impromptu music jams with all sorts of great talent, playing far into the night.
Always at home on the sea and tackling challenging problems requiring significant physical endurance, and ever respectful of history, Van Dereck established a career in construction and building sea walls on the harbor, eternally mindful of odd bits and found objects that the ocean might wash up or a construction job might leave behind.
Moe Van Dereck's metal sculptures are the product of a lifetime spent seeking out and noticing unusual cast-off objects that few others see and imagining them as something entirely unique. It is this unusual way of seeing the world that defines his art.
Van Dereck's sculptures are welded from iron and steel. Simple objects become graceful, long legged birds or ducks or fascinating, imaginary creatures. What distinguishes them is the marvelous way that an ordinary object like a clamp, a hook, a screw, a set of keys... become an animate creature, and in the eyes of the viewer, the object is never again something ordinary. In this sense, Van Dereck invites us to see the world through his entirely unique point of view.
Moe Van Dereck, together with his wife, painter Simie Maryles, opened Simie Maryles Gallery in 1998. His sculptures are widely collected and admired and invite the viewer to see the world in a way they've never done before.
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