A: I grew up in the whole Tumblr-MySpace age, when I was just really intrigued by internet artists. I couldn’t even give you names at this point, but I was really inspired by the people I was seeing online who were doing really cool stuff. But the first artist who I remember who resonated with me was Frida (Kahlo). I went to the University of West Georgia and — like, no shade — but I really didn’t learn about Black artists at all while I was there. I connected with Frida, wholly, because she was a woman of color. She started me thinking like self-portraits can be a thing. Then we had a project where my professor wanted us to create a self-portrait, but do it in the style of Alice Neel. So, I did all this research on her (Neel). I looked at her work. I watched a documentary about her. I just fell in love with her work. That really made me get into portraits and acrylic painting.
Ariel Dannielle’s self-portraits put everyday Black life on full display
Rosalind Bentley, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 24, 2020