This artist showcase introduces the work of Darrell Black. Black was originally inspired by space and science, but his creative journey has taken him on a path of simplification and ‘stripping back.’ Keep reading for a Q&A with Black about his work and his life as an artist, as well as a selection of images of his work.
When did your interest in art/crating begin?
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. I created as a child, spacecraft including futuristic worlds and cities using any and all household items I could find: utensils, clothes pins and 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.
What is your starting point for each piece?
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.
Who or what influences your work?
The influence on my artwork comes from traditional and non traditional sources. I take inspiration from everyone and everything incorporating the person or object’s mental or physical state in my creations. For example, learning about the personality of Picasso, researching all the tragedy and agony he caused to friends and family; the personal problems of artists like Rothko, Pollock and Basquiat; the struggles of Winston Churchill to defeat the Nazis and win the war against tyranny; the scientists of the Manhattan project beginning from scratch to create the atom bomb; Dr. Frankenstein’s determination to create a monster – all of this struggle, hardship and commitment to succeed against all odds gives me the incentive as an artist to create new and innovative work.
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
The hope is to confront the viewer with a question, and for each person to come up with the same or a different answer. That for me as the artist is very interesting, since there is no right or wrong answer, just a different perspective or another way of seeing the world.
What do you think of the term outsider art? Is there a term you think works better?
Personally speaking I think the term ‘Outsider Art’ is a bit outdated and in some way self-defeating. I think the word creates a secondary class of artists whose creativity is seen by others in the art world as being more infantile than substantive, denying many worthy self-taught artists their rightful place in the pantheon of art along side well-known and established artists. I think the term self-taught artists or creatives works best.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m presently working on large canvases in a multitude of languages. They express the problems and hopes of many people in certain parts of the world using mere color and writing in an attempt to show our basic similarities, helping to create mutual respect between cultures, and merging all spoken word into one universal language of understanding and acceptance for everyone.
Where do you see your work taking you in the future?
My artwork has always been a journey of self-discovery. My images began with simple patterns and colors, resulting in more complex and recognizable objects and figures, but after learning so much about many artists and their approach to art, I realized that stripping away from a work of art – simplifying creation to its vary basic elements – might be the key to great works of art.