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Pharaoh Darrell (circa 2020)

Darrell Cruse II

Chicago, IL

BFA: University of Missouri-Columbia - 2017

Darrell Cruse is a visual artist born in Evanston, Illinois and raised on Chicago's South Side. He discovered his love of creating images during childhood, drawing pictures of characters from animated series such Dragon Ball Z, The Boondocks, and Batman. He would take this hobby and channel it into learning portraiture at Morgan Park High School. While pursuing a BFA at the University of Missouri, he sought to perfect his drawing skills by starting a portrait series titled Improving Craft Portraits. Along with this series, Darrell's time at Mizzou allowed him to learn how to use various traditional 2D media such as colored pencil, chalk pastel, oil pastel, and oil paint to create conceptual bodies of work that focus on the themes of social commentary, philosophy, Hip Hop culture, and Black history.

Beginning in 2019, Darrell would also pick up the art of photography. Utilizing the classes he took as an undergrad, Darrell would use the camera to rediscover and expand on his love for portraiture. Starting off by working with friends and coworkers, Darrell built bodies of work exploring colors, music, style, and tone and the roles they play in affecting people's moods. Though he also creates his own series, such as 2020's Hue Soulect, Darrell's photography mostly works to find the best factors to create the ideal environment and draw out the absolute best from the model. The goal is to create the perfect, defining set of images for the individual he's working with.

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