Clark Derbes was born in New Orleans, Louiosiana, and raised in Baton Rouge. At an early age, he was exposed to the vernacular craft arts of the south, including vibrantly painted carvings, quilts, and the beaded pageantry of Mardi Gras. These influences, along with the roadside, chainsaw carvings he saw in Vermont, collided with his practice of abstract-expressionist geometric painting.
Clark's work employs a vocabulary of forms and shapes adapted from familiar architectures translated into sculptures of carved wood and finished with a variety of complex patina processes or vivid color, sometimes in combination, and all driven by his straightforwardness and skill. His current body of carved and polychromed wood sculpture are a synthesis of these influences, a "gumbo" of American art history stirred with the wooden spoon of folk tradition.
Clark earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Louisiana State University and exhibits extensively throughout the United States. He currently lives and works in Vermont with his wife, artist Wylie Sofia Garcia, and their two children.