It’s Never Too Late to Admit That You Love Me

Darryl DeAngelo Terrell

Using song lyrics as points of entry, these self-portraits explore desire and the identity and body politics of being deemed worthy of love. As a self-identified fat, black, queer, disabled person coming from a disenfranchised family in Detroit, Darryl renders themselves in scenarios of love and intimacy that often go unseen and uncelebrated by the public gaze.

Listen to the exhibition’s playlist!

Love takes on many forms in Darryl’s works, from romantic love to the love between friends and family members. This selection of photographs depicts various scenes and relationships, from a
loving embrace between mother and child in a Detroit backyard to a moment of physical intimacy between two people at home. Darryl draws upon music, an integral part of their artistic practice, to frame the works, and titles each photograph using a set of instructions for finding specific song lyrics.

For example, the work titled ‘Play the 1968 Soundtrack to Sparkle, track 2, at 1:22 (1 & 2)’ refers to Aretha Franklin’s Something He Can Feel. In this photograph, Darryl embodies their femme alter-ego, Dion, who provides the artist with access to femininity in a way that they do not have on a daily basis. Here, Dion wears a gown and long hair inspired by Diana Ross, to reference the glamor and decadence of black women in Detroit getting dressed up to go out. The photograph is taken at a distance, showing Dion flanked by the lights and poles of the photography studio that they stand in. This perspective, which lets the viewer in on the portrait’s larger setting, serves to elicit conversations about social norms around heavier bodies presenting in high femme.