Works by UAB’s Cracco on show in Colorado

Using pages from romance novels and pin-ups, Derek Cracco’s constellation-like works explore society’s fascination with the sexes.

art_fromheretothere_sA show of works by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Associate Professor Derek Cracco, M.F.A., will be on display at Carmen Wiedenhoeft Gallery in Denver, Colo., from Jan. 18 to Feb. 22, 2013.

Cracco teaches printmaking and computer graphics in the UAB Department of Art and Art History.

The show, “Identity,” will feature works focusing on relationships as seen through the filter of pop culture. Using pieces of ephemera, such as romance novels, images of 1950s pin-ups and men’s health magazines, Cracco has created collages to explore society’s fantasies and fascination with romance and the sexes.

“Male leads perpetuate the stereotype of the ‘knight in shining armor,’ ‘the wealthy entrepreneur,’ ‘the bad boy’ and ‘the talented doctor,’ and they tend to highlight a man’s ability to garner wealth or power,” Cracco said of the inspirations for his work. “Female leads follow the stereotypes of ‘the demure lady in waiting,’ ‘the princess,’ ‘the damsel in distress’ and ‘the dutiful mother or wife,’ and they promote the image of innocence, purity and helplessness.”

The works, using abstract space and the gathered images, draw inspiration from astronomy and particle physics and create constellations that act as a metaphor for the forces that attract or repel couples. For more, visit Cracco’s site at