The body, our soul’s shell, is a complex topic. Even more so when viewed by others. In the art piece I Wish I Was Perfectly Happy, Darryl DeAngelo Terrell dissects their Black queer fat body with the marks of a surgeon. This piece and others like it are in their last week at Wa Na Wari in the Central District, with the group show ending on January 8th. Viewing this piece now helps discourage weight-related New Year’s Resolutions.
In the piece, each stroke of Terrell’s sharpie shows the body as an imperfect battlefield. With wounds, both real and imagined. The images of Sarrah Baartman, known as Hottentot Venus, inspired Terrell’s work. Baartman was put on display in European “freak shows.” And no matter how you slice things, this parallels how society still views the flesh bags we walk around in.
It’s part of a larger installation that includes artists Kiki Elice Turner, Rik’isha Taylor, and Rontherin Ratliff. The show examines identity concerning the intersections of queerness, Black femininity, the family, and how Blackness is seen and shown. A little tip while you’re visiting: Arte Noir, another Black art gallery, is two blocks away! So double your support of Black art by visiting both. And be sure to hit Joyce’s Market and Cafe, a Black-owned spot where you can order the charcuterie board of your dreams. And my final word: Fill the Belly, Love the Body.