Photo by Natasha Gornik

Photo by Natasha Gornik

Artist Statement

I am a sculptor of wax and ritual objects, a painter of gesture (mostly legs), and a hostess of community-led salons and candlelit performance projects. I craft objects, and design spaces and experiences that satisfy my own desires and needs for celebration, meditation, support, and freedom, and that embody questions and lessons I hope to pass on to others. I know that being vulnerable about what I want and need, and making those objects and experiences I desire, will lead others to discover what they want and need, too.

At the easel, I work with oil, ink, photos, crayons, to imagine figures in fantasy forms, to release myself from disabilities of the body’s shell. I work with wax and flame, graphite, and charcoal to meditate on my alternating worship for object permanence and ephemeral performance, life, and death.

As Director of House of Darker, I lead community events and lead larger art projects that aim create a spaces that are politically radical and acce$$able - where art is celebrated as a method of exploration and expression available to anyone, regardless of education or experience, regardless of sex, race, gender, orientation, or presentation. I work with my community to make art collaboratively - crafting new rituals that process grief, celebrate intention, and usher in new beginnings - guiding others to produce objects of their own to be cherished.

Biography

Dorothy Darker (she/her) is the high femme drag persona of Jenny Stanjeski (they/them). She resides and keeps a studio cum art parlor in Brooklyn, NY. Jenny has a BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University and continued their studies at the Art Students League and the New York Academy of Art. A decade long member of USA 829, they painted for over 100 Off-Broadway and Broadway productions, in addition to television, movies, and fashion, before moving onto a permanent position at The Juilliard School.

Dorothy launched her Darker Studio Cycle from her studio in Williamsburg, which she shared with her husband, photographer, Walter Wlodarczyk. In 2019, with the creation of Waxing Moon, she brought the intimate Studio Series to a close in preparation for a new body of work that moves beyond the safety of the studio, and out into spaces where more people can interact with her objects and ideas.

House of Darker

House of Darker is the creative collective that coalesced around the making of The Summer Bacchanal in 2013, directed by Dorothy Darker. They are a group of friends, lovers, and collaborators who regularly mix the aims of inspiration, creative expression, and community-based support in an effort to bring together a positive and transformative environment. We aim to not only share our creative aims and successes but to do so in and environments that are acce$$able, where one can be open about their lifestyle choices, be supported in their presentation, and not be shoehorned by occupation. House of Darker events are always consent forward, where body autonomy is respected and defended. We meet every four weeks at Lot 45 for the drawing and social salon titled Tableaux and quarterly for a literary mixer called Purple Prose.