Derek Pentz is a theater and visual artist, writer, and painter. As a graduate of Towson University's theater program, Derek studied reality television's theatrical and societal relevance while developing his Kennedy Center Theater Festival-winning drag persona Zenobia Darling. Derek has exhibited in art exhibitions and performed in drag shows/comedy clubs in Baltimore, New York City, Los Angeles, and Cape Town. Derek’s studio is in Havre de Grace, MD, but resides in Maryland and Las Vegas.
After seeing a Claude Monet exhibit at Walters Art Museum in first grade, Derek taught himself to paint by watching Bob Ross VHS tapes in his grandfather’s woodshop. After taking painting and art history classes, this hobby turned serious while completing an Associate degree at Harford Community College. While studying theater at Towson, Derek worked with therapeutic art nonprofits, teaching graffiti and performance art to traumatized inner-city kids in both South Africa and Baltimore, in addition to studying art and theater’s intersectionality through the 20th century.
Derek's painting style concentrates on Neo-Expressionism and Abstract Expressionism, all with bright neon colors and glitter exploring themes of mental health, trauma, pop culture, spirituality, and society through the lens of a weird and spooky queer creative. Galleries that have exhibited Derek's work include The Oxford Art Alliance in Oxford, PA; TAG gallery in Los Angeles, CA; and The Butterfly Art Project in Cape Town, South Africa. Derek’s self-published three-act solo performance/coffee table art book, #RockStarLife: Diary of Zenobia Darling Punk Rock Drag Superstar, is available on Amazon.
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