Changing Room

Darryl DeAngelo Terrell is a multidisciplinary artist born in Detroit then moved to Chicago to complete their MFA at the School of the Art Institute. “I make work that encourages conversation while challenging the viewers. Work that makes black people feel apart, and included. Work that induces emotion and reaction. I wanna make you think about your views when you see my work.” says Darryl. Recently had exhibited in 65 Grand gallery in Humboldt Park, called “Changing Room”. An Activation/performance of space and objects that are using to transform into Dion. Hanging chains, wigs, beauty products, to Flaming Hot Cheeto bags are all along with the transformation performance. I sat down and talked with Darryl about “Changing Room” and what their up to.

How would you describe your work?

When I think about my work, like where it’s going, and where it’s been I normally use three letters BLK, mainly because my black identity is forever in mind when creating, but also I think about the shared black experience. But I would also say the my work derives from observation, and love, two that are heavily apart of my practice. I observe stuff, bring it into my work, and I approach everything with love (that sounds mad corny, but it’s true lol)

If theres no love in one’s practice, whats the point? IMO. I love the exhibit in 65grand, “Changing Room”. The performance transformation into Dion, the usage of the objects from the wigs to the Hot Cheeto puffs. What was your objective with this project?

Major fact! lol. So Dion comes from a place where I feel the most uncomfortable, like I’m a fat black queer male bodied person, who often feel very undesired in my body. I want to feel beautiful, desired, and loved, so Dion is in one way or another a form of self-care lol. Dion is modeled after the women in my community, their beautiful, and smart, and have strong attitudes, and beautiful skin, they have pride in their appearance, they often beat their mugs, and rock beautiful wig, their sexually liberated, and completely own their bodies. It’s something I admire because Its something I feel that I, as a male bodies person can’t exude. The Performance was more so a activation of the objects, of the things I’ve seen in rooms from my best friends, momma, sister, niece, etc.

You shot a photograph series previously as Dion correct? Is Dion an ongoing project?

Honestly I took the photos 2 years ago, I’ve been having a hard time with making more, It’s like I have the ideas, just not the time and space to make the work, because you know gotta work. But yes this is a on going project, that I’m hoping to also expand to video, and more performance (like I really wanna do some bomb ass burlesque lol). I’ve been looking at a lot of images from Lyle Ashton Harris, Vaginal Davis, disco artist Sylvester, Josephine Baker, but also Hallie Berry from the movie BAPS (which is a childhood fav) and there’s is this poem from Danez Smith titled “my life as a 90’s R&B music video” that I always listen to, to remind me that I am indeed THE SHIT lol.

That is true sometimes work takes over my life. You also paint too? I love the small illustrations you did with ‘From Memory’.

“I’m a fat black queer male bodied person, who often feel very undesired in my body. I want to feel beautiful, desired, and loved.”

Omg, yes it is, and like being a artist is also a lot of work when you’re always applying for stuff lol. So, painting is new for me, but I’m enjoying it, and want to explore it some more in my practice, that work was almost meditative making for me. I can’t wait to show it!

I forgot to ask, I read on New City it took you thousands of hours for make up tutorials for the Dion shoot?

Well that’s a bit of a exaggeration lol but yeah I did and still do watch a lot of YouTube tutorials lol, still can’t do eye makeup to save my damn life, it’s tragic honestly lol.

Keep watching! You’ll find the right tutorial! What are some upcoming and current projects you’re working on for the rest of the year?

Yeah, I just gotta keep practicing lol. Well I have an exhibition coming up at Roots and Culture in Chicago, which is exciting, it opens September 7th, so I’m getting ready for that, try to find a space to take more photos for “#project20”. I really wanna reach 200 people by the end of the year, I have some video ideas, and some photo ideas I wanna work through, wrote out a few proposals for shows I want to curate, been making some music, which is exciting considering I love to sing. My mind is over flowing with ideas right now, I just need to focus and get and planner to help me organize everything lol.

Well you’ll need to get that planner ASAP! Thank you so much Darryl, I appreciate your time and love your beautiful work. I will pull up to that show on the 7th.

I think I’m going to do that today lol but thank you, I look forward to seeing you on the 7th!

Darryl DeAngelo Terrell