When you first gaze upon the paintings of Artist Daryl Myntia Daniels, you are immediately drawn in by the vibrant colors. The artist says she was inspired by the sun.
"At one point in my life, I kind of hid away from the sun, because I was ashamed of my dark skin, and so I really wanted to just celebrate the sun and use that as a solar power to fully charge this energy,” said Myntia Daniels, who is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and received her MFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts.
The paintings make up an exhibit called "Not Your Superwoman" at the Kente Royal Gallery in Harlem. Myntia Daniels says they are also influenced by her experiences as a competitive gymnast. She says her history in gymnastics and living as a Black woman are very similar.
"We are kind of taught to endure so much pain and push through it and still perform and still be your best self and I wanted to talk about those similarities,” said Myntia Daniels.
The exhibition salutes Women's History Month at the Gallery on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard near 139th Street, owned by Dodji and Phyllis Gbedemah.
It opened eight months before the pandemic hit, and was closed for four months as the virus arrived in New York. It's one of the few Black-owned galleries in the five boroughs, and Dodji said it wasn't long before artists were walking in and asking if they could show there.
"It's a labor of love for us, my wife and we put our life savings behind this gallery and we want to make sure that representation matters in the Black community," said Gbedemah.
The show was postponed last year due to COVID-19. Myntia Daniels added all new work based on the events that took place since the fight for social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.
"There was so much that went on throughout this year, and so much more that I wanted to express and talk about and so everything happens when it should happen,” said Myntia Daniels.
You can see her work at the Kente Royal Gallery through March 28th.