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Darold Perkins

The Norman Rockwell of Gay Art

Throughout his life, Darold Perkins has made a name for himself in several fields of artistry. Beginning with an art class in high school, Perkins frittered away his time not only with sketching and painting, but with music and drama as well. 

The university days were followed by a stint in the US Army — during which he was accused of illicit relations with other men. Another gay man with whom he was barely acquainted got caught in the act. When the authorities questioned the man about who else was “queer,” he speculated that Perkins might possibly be suspicious. 

The lesser result of this speculation was a dishonorable discharge for the man — and everyone he named. The major result was Perkins’ freedom to buy a one-way ticket to New York City. The bored wife of the pianist happened to notice Perkins’ drawings. It occurred to her that this handsome young man with the beautiful voice might prove to actually be a cash cow, with the right guidance, and she became his agent. 

Perkins enrolled at New York’s Traphagen School of Fashion Design, but soon thereafter was called into a conference with the instructor to discuss the drawing assignments. “Go home,” the teacher told him. “I can see already that I can’t teach you anything that you don’t already know.” 

Perkins’ paintings are not the standard classical renderings of themes such as “nude holding a spear;” nor are they pornographic. When he paints, he intends to deliver an idea that surrounds the image of the characters in the picture. He prefers humorous ideas and subjects with personalities. In fact, Perkins has been called the Norman Rockwell of gay art by a number of contemporaries. 

Perkins would like to create for the gay community another bit of tangible culture. These lasting objects of work and art that display the essence of a culture’s existence are too rare in the gay culture. Besides enjoying painting attractive figures engaged in interesting pursuits, Perkins also wants to contribute to and support gay art and culture

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