Artist Feature: Darrell Black

Editor Julia Alora, Art, November 20th, 2019

"From life's everyday dramas to humankind's quest for self understanding"


While most of the focus of the audience viewing artwork is on the final product, for artists art-making is an exploratory experience. Some creators build towards a specific image in their heads. Artist Darrell Urban Black channels emotion and color instead, letting the image forming guide him to a conclusion between abstract and figurative. His pieces vary between mysterious forms, to looming spirits, to a cross section of a home during the holidays. The vibrant colors along with Black’s personal technique create visually captivating works that reveal more detail the longer you look.


From the Artist:

Darrell Urban Black is an American visual artist presently living in Frankfurt, Germany. He works in a variety of formats including pen and ink drawings, and acrylic paintings on canvas, wood, and mixed media objects. Black’s technique creates a three-dimensional effect on any surface that gives a sense of realism and presence in his creations. Much of his artwork focuses on themes of outer space and objects of a world unseen. His creative process starts off with a blank piece of paper or canvas. “Emotionally I’m feeling or thinking about nothing just an overwhelming urge to create something. I let the hands begin and it’s like being in some kind of trance. I can see the hands moving erratically, then an image starts to appear on the paper or canvas but I never interfere I let the hands do what they do and in minutes the image is done. My job as the artist is to make minor corrections after the act of creation.”  Black refers to this optical artistic illusion as ”Definism”. Definism portrays various differences in human nature; from life’s everyday dramas to humankind’s quest for self understanding. His artworks transport viewers from the doldrums of their daily lives into a visual interpretation of another reality.





Darrell Urban Black was born in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in Far Rockaway, New York. As a child he made spaceship models, eventually placing his artistic visions on paper resulting in some 500 drawings. In high school he excelled in science with an affinity for outer space. Phantasmal spaceships eventually carried Black to unique wonderlands of strange forms and colors.

In 1982, he joined the National Guard.  During this time his previous drawings were lost – but not his passion. In 1988 he joined the army and served another four years. Black earned his Bachelor Degree in Science of Criminal Justice Administration at the University of Phoenix. He has artwork permanently displayed in a number of art galleries, museums and other institutions in America and Germany. Black lives in Frankfurt, Germany and continues to draw and paint in pursuit of his artistic dreams.

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Julia Alora

Julia Alora is a transplanted Portland sculptoress inspired by biology and the natural world. Her works can be found lurking in the woods, guarding her studio, and in co-op art houses around the city.