Darian Stewart

deshawnstudios.com | Email: deshawn14@icloud.com

Artist Statement

A navigation through the queer black experience. I investigate the spectacle and power dynamics of looking by depicting otherwise-ignored bodies in art history through constructed collage paintings with materials such as textiles, beads, and oil paint. Through painting, collage, and sculpture I represent queer blackness—specifically as a space that is made of trauma, and a space in which bliss blossoms from the erotic. The specific sites I depict include queer black underground parties, intimate backstage rooms, boudoirs, or domestic spaces.

Components from all of the senses combine in how these moments of the erotic play a part in queer black bodies—especially my queer black body, navigating through space and experiences. The erotic is a source of power that allows excellence to be fulfilled. The erotic is seen in queer black culture as just a taste of internal satisfaction. This satisfaction relies on control, an internal power, and how to then use this dynamic to navigate through daily experiences. 

My installation My body, our soul, this world. confronts and celebrates through materials, mimics dreamlike escapism, and uses the concept of color as a metaphor for representation. The black columns present black as a color and not darkness, while the relationship of vivid colors corresponds to the trails of this constructed safe space. The viewer can step inside with me. Engulfed in trauma, the paintings are surrounded by a thick black substance that represents the trials of this life, oozing from the ceiling and walls. Engulfed in a space, taken over by the senses, come inside my world.

Artist Bio

Darian Deshawn Stewart (b. Hardy, Arkansas) is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York, New York. Stewart attended Arkansas State University where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in both Graphic Design and Fine Arts. He is now pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Parsons School of Design/The New School. He has exhibited at The Bradbury Art Museum at Arkansas State University, 25 East 13th Gallery, and the Window Show at The New School. Stewart loves spending time with his daughter, exploring the outdoors, and being a fashionable butch queen!