Art, // June 28, 2021
Darrell Black — ARTIST
Interview with artist Darrell Black —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Darrell Black, an American self-taught visual artist born in Brooklyn New York, growing up in Brentwood Long Island now presently living in Frankfurt, Germany. I work in a variety of formats that include Pen and Ink drawings, acrylic paintings on canvas, wood and Mixed media objects which uses non-toxic hot glue that creates a three-dimensional effect on any surface giving a sense of realism and presence to my artwork, I refer to this optical artistic illusion as “Definism” in my opinion –
“Definism, portrays various differences in human nature from life’s everyday dramas to humankind’s quest to under-standing self. “My artworks transport viewers from the doldrums of their daily reality to a visual interpretation of another reality.”
2. Why art?
Why not! Meaning, if you can contribute to something in society, anything to help promote cultural unity and diversity where people from all backgrounds who view your artwork get your meaning and learn something about themselves and others along the way then, in my opinion, creating art is a very small price and sacrifice to make to get others to see and experience the multifaceted perspectives of life.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
My interest in Art began early in childhood, growing up my parents had a miniature sculpture of artist Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’ and abstract paintings by various artists on the wall. At the time I never took any real interest in it, but what I loved was space and anything to do with science. As a child I created spacecraft including futuristic worlds and cities using any and all household items I could find: utensils, clothes pins and garden tools. Anything I could find to feed my fantasy this was my first introduction into art without realizing it but my main focus was always science.
4. What are your favorite subject(s) and media(s)?
My favorite subject has always been science in the field of theoretical physics and many years ago while surfing the internet I learned that one of the leading scientists Micio Kaku will be lecturing at the Open Center in New York City, I decided to book a flight from Frankfurt to New York for myself and wife Christina we sat in a small room with many other science lovers Professor Kaku, started his lecture with his admiration for the singer Madonna. During the lecture on physics Professor Kaku was very exacting, answering one question from the room filled with science enthusiasts and halfway through the lecture I looked over to my wife and she was sound asleep but afterwards we bought a book from Professor Kaku he signed it and my wife christina took really great pictures, what a great evening.
5. How do you work and approach your subject?
When I decide to start on a work of art my mind is clear, free of all worry and thought. I start on a canvas from every direction and within the throes of creation, I am a mere spectator. My advice: let your hands do what they do in the creating process, you the artist are only a spectator. The job of the artist is to clean up the mess left behind by creation, fine tuning the image by adding color, defining lines that make up the painting; fixing things up.
6. What are your favorite art work(s), artist(s)?
My favorite artists are Jean Michel Basquiat, Mark Rothko and Jacob Lawrence which in my opinion are the most daring and provocative artists of the 20th century. Basquiat had a very gritty and poetic style that spoke to instinctive human behavior, Rothko, used pure color to invoke emotion and meaning and Jacob Lawrence used art to represent the black experience. My favorite artworks – Basquiat “In this case,” Rothko “Number 14,” and Lawrence “The Builders.”
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
Art transcends consumerism; it asks and demands more of it’s participants.
This is why we enjoy this particular piece because it takes a space normally reserved for capitalism displayed in the form of product placement and simply replaces it with something meant to be admired primarily for it’s creativity. The agenda here is the pitch of transforming the environment into something more aspirational than the next big car or brand of phone, more inspirational than creating desire for a burger or drink; it is one of celebrating art as a medium of aesthetic, as a tool that journeys beyond the medium of purchase and inspires one into evolving their own creativity.
Art is functional, it shapes a landscape and spreads messages. Too long has it been confined to galleries, back alleys, interspersed installations; it should be the dominant feature of any town, city or occupied space, showcasing the visions and creativity of as many people as possible and inspiring it’s inhabitants to do the same for themselves.
Arts dominance should be used to break down and transform societies norms of what is acceptable behaviour to encourage greater diversity of expression and therefore freedom of thought and thus intelligence in it’s individuals. It should encourage this freedom in the context of behaviour not deliberately harmful to anybody. In many ways the piece by Definism achieves that.
8. What do you like about your work?
I”m a very harsh critic of my artwork and I think images I like most are the ones which bring back wonderful childhood memories of being creative or pictures i created that seem to be made by other artists.
9. What advice would you give to other artists?
Any person willing to dedicate their life to the arts must stay persistent and never give up! If you’re not sure if a career in the arts is for you, ask yourself a simple question: “Do I love creating?” And if the answer is a resounding yes! It’s your way, so for better or worse, stay with it.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Definitely in the arts it’s my life and by then my art style Definism will be a household word known to everyone.
See Great Art: https://www.seegreatart.art/darrell-black-pursuing-artistic-passion-in-germany/
ATOD Magazine: https://atodmagazine.com/2021/02/25/art-and-racial-justice/