Art Stars: Darius Moreno
Photography by Andre Gray
Photography: Andre Gray
Interview: Brooklyn White
Parsons graduate Darius Moreno is a New York-based visual artist who is changing the game with his technicolor portraits. You may be familiar with his vivid artwork for DMV-raised rapper and star Goldlink, who chose Moreno to create the art for his At What Cost debut studio album. I was given the opportunity to sit down with Moreno in Brooklyn to discuss his day job, accomplishments, and happiness.
Brooklyn White: Describe yourself in one word.
Darius Moreno: Obsessive. If I’m interested in something, I'll study it to the max. I'll look at it [and] draw it everyday.
BW: I appreciate your honesty. You could've been like, "Oh, I'm adventurous!" [Laughs] Like bruh shut up, this isn't Tinder. Are you happy?
DM: Yeah, I'm happy. I’m happy in certain ways. I’m happy with my art. I’m blessed to have talent and be where I am at my age.
BW: What are you trying to accomplish with your art?
DM: I'm already accomplishing what I wanna do with art by creating it. [But] I wanna establish a [vibe]. Like I want people to look at my art, get nostalgic, and just have great memories of Black culture.
BW: Do you have a day job or is art your day job?
DM: Art is my day job. I had a day job at [a clothing store], I worked there for a year and some change in the housing department. One day I just quit. [Laughs] The security was always late, people were always tryna steal stuff, and I was like, "I’m not that guy." That's when I knew I had to start making money selling art. I made a Big Cartel selling prints and [soon] I was making enough money to survive. It's different now though. Now that I've graduated, I'm looking for a day job in the art field.
BW: How do you feel about your most recent work?
DM: I feel great about it. My most recent work is with Goldlink and I'm happy that a rapper took the time to pick out an artist. Even if he [hadn't chosen] me, just the fact that he was interested in an artist and pays attention to artists on the Internet is important.
BW: It says a lot about him as a person because he could've easily been like, "Let's do a photo shoot" and that would've been the album art.
DM: Exactly. I think he definitely took a risk and that's great. It made me more confident in myself, in my art, and made me realize how valuable it is to people.
BW: Do you feel like your art is about you or the world?
DM: At first I used to think my art was only about me, then I started sharing it with the world and I was like, "Hmm, I guess it does have a lot to do with how people are feeling, what people are thinking about, or how people may have been affected by this movie."
BW: What do you think the general creative's role in society is?
DM: To bring hope to people who don't have enough belief in themselves. Creatives are mostly for people who don't know their voice.
Originally published in IN #6, Fall 2017