Danny Ferrell

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, in a small town of no more than a few thousand residents. Deeply conservative, most placed religion above all other virtues, and anyone deviating from religious law was treated as a herald of immorality. I was a man whose love for other men violated the cultural norms, forcing me to conceal my personal life from others in the public sphere. 

My paintings represent fantasies and fears about the Other through depictions of everyday queer male experience. I am enamored with the potential intrusion of queerness in the everyday, and look for it wherever I go. Homoerotic currents in contemporary American life can be found everywhere: in visual stereotypes, the sky as a rainbow gradient at sunset, a discarded pair of gym shorts, or the reflection of two men kissing on a soda can. I find and compose paintings that deliver the energy and realism of daily life, while imbuing it with a homoerotic flirtation. A formal and conceptual tension is always at play, which is structured and informed by ever-present dichotomies: public/private, nature/culture, taste/kitsch, transparency/opacity. Loosely based on my own relationships, experiences, and imagination, my work functions like a daydream, where memory, longing, and external influences shape a personal fiction. 

Radiant skin tones and dreamy settings so lovingly rendered bespeak my fascination with the inherent sexuality of oil paint: the painting, from tender brushstrokes to the treatment of the ground, is a process both like masturbation and sex. By creating coded homoerotic images of ubiquitous scenes that could appeal to mainstream audiences, the work is both universal and human. 

Email: danieljohnferrell@gmail.com