Detroit’s Black Queer Artist Brings Work to Seattle Black Art Center

Art gallery Wa Na Wari is showcasing Darryl DeAngelo Terrell’s work along with three other Black artists

“I Wish I Was Perfectly Happy” by Detroit queer artist Darryl DeAngelo Terrell. Photo courtesy of Wa Na Wari.

Detroit-based queer artist Darryl DeAngelo Terrell’s latest work is currently on display at the Wa Na Wari Black art center in Seattle, along with three other Black artists — one from New Orleans and two from Seattle.

Terrell’s mixed media creation titled “From Memory” captures the experience of looking back into the moment of being with a beloved without knowing it would be the last. The artwork combines a video, watercolor paintings, and texts on paper to re-tell Tyrell’s personal tale with his father.

“On the night of October 12, 2002, my father turned himself in for the murder of his then-girlfriend of 4 years. On October 12, 2002, I learned that my super Hero wasn’t.”

Darryl DeAngelo Terrell

The video art “8059 Farnsworth (You Got Me),” part of the larger “From Memory” work, captures the point-of-view of a child in the back seat of a car ride. “I re-enact my last car ride with my father in the 21 min, a two-channel video … where Channel 1 is from the perception of my father as the driver, and Channel 2 being the perception of a young 11-year-old self in the back seat,” he said.

His other work, also on display at Wa Na Wari, “I Wish I Was Perfectly Happy” comments on the body image issues to which queer men are susceptible. “[The work] consists of visually dissecting my black queer fat body using Plastic surgery motifs,” Tyrell said. “Influenced by Archival images of Sarrah Baartman, I positioned my body in a similar vein while using a marker to dissect and label my body by how it is viewed by society.”

Nude-inspired artwork by Seattle artist Kiki Elice Turner. Photo courtesy of Wa Na Wari.

Also joining the gallery is work by New Orleans sculptor, and Seattle-based artists Kiki Elice Turner and Rik’isha Taylor. Ratliff’s conceptual piece “Mother’s Day” is an assemblage of domestic items in the shape of a telephone handset to depict “correspondence and love, loss and death, displacement and nostalgia, irrecoverable conditions and acceptance, yearning and an overall expression of optimism,” according to the artist. Meanwhile, Turner will be exhibiting some nude-inspired paintings which, according to her, are referenced from nude selfies of friends and her own. While inspired by real women, the identities and features of the women in her paintings are altered. And Taylor will exhibit her works that allude to pop culture’s reduction of Black people, particularly women, to mere flesh or object of delight. She says her work aims to reference as much of these reductive tropes in what seems to be an effort to highlight its absurdity.


Wa Na Wari is located at 911 24th Ave, Seattle, Washington. And is open Fridays 5–8 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

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