My name is Darrell Urban Black. I was born in Brooklyn, New York. Later my family moved to Rockaway, New York, where I spent most of my youth. In high school, I got excellent marks in science. In June 1969, America fulfilled J. F. Kennedy’s dream to conquer space when American astronauts planted the Stars and Stripes into the dusty surface of the moon. My artistic pursuits started at an early age, around five years, when I began to build my own spaceships from items I found in the bathroom: pieces of clothes, shoe laces, hair pins, soap boxes, shavers, and from the kitchen: forks and spoons. Phantasmic spaceships would eventually carry me to a unique wonderland of strange forms and colors. In 1980, my family moved to Long Island, where I made the next transition from replicas of spaceships, aerodromes, and futuristic cities, to placing my artistic visions on paper, and within a two-year period, I produced some 500 drawings, receiving much encouragement and support from my mother, who worked in a mental hospital. She bought me paper, ink, and pens. Then, something happened to me which created grief and bewilderment, to say the least.
In 1982, I joined the National Guard in New York. Upon my return home from duty, I was keen to resume drawing and wished to study my earlier drawings to spark inspiration. It turned out to be a desperate search to no avail – the 500 drawings were gone. My mother, mistaking my artistic pursuit for a passing phase, had thrown my work in the garbage. I was devastated and decided never to draw again. I was unable to even look at blank sheets of papers or ink or pens. It was a kind of anguish torturing me that could be only soothed by forgetting that I once was a fledgling artist.
In 1988, the year I joined the regular army, I rediscovered by chance ten photos I had once taken from my earlier work – the only pieces that were left, just enough to kindle the fire. After leaving the military, I attended the University of Phoenix, earning my Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration. I presently reside in Frankfurt, Germany, still in pursuit of my artistic dreams. In April 2001, I was nominated by the German government for a prize for promising young artists. The idea came from John Provan of the Zeppelin Museum in Frankfurt for the exhibition entitled The Zeppelin in Art, Design, and Advertisement, held between May 11 and July 30, 2000, for an artwork titled “The Invasion.” In the nomination letter, I was cited for my exceptional abilities in various art works. Another piece of art, referenced in the letter, titled “The Cosmic Linen,” was executed with a unique glue and acrylic on linen technique. The image was described as “universally appealing and representing a topic which concerns all of us – the universe.” I’ve had many local, national, and international group art exhibitions and have artwork permanently displayed in a number of art galleries, museums, and other institutions in America and Germany. To view more of my work, visit my website: http://darrell-black.artistwebsites.com/.