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Bakpak Durden

Self Portrait: Yield to Change | 24″ x 24″ | Oil on wood panel | 2019

Artist Statement

Durden’s work revolves around their lived experience, one that is shaped by race, gender, mental and physical health. As a painter, muralist, illustrator and photographer, they express complex emotions and elements of their identity that escape definition by any other means. Thematically, their works often examine the cyclical nature of depression and recovery, our propensity to forget and relive the depths of that cycle, and the futility of attempts to rationally dissect them. Their hyper-realistic compositions often feature figures whose gender is intentionally complicated or obscured to reflect their own reality as a trans artist and to challenge the social oppressions perpetuated by the gender binary.

Artwork/s at the following locations:
Detroit Artist Market
Norwest Gallery
Playground Detroit

Artist Website + Social Media:
Instagram @bakpakdurden

MR/QD Is Made Possible BY

Artists stipends made possible by Kresge Arts in Detroit

For details and more info on making a contribution to Mighty Real/Queer Detroit, please contact us at

About MR/QD

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is an art exhibition in June 2022 devoted to 77 years (1945-2022) of Detroit LGBTQ+ art 

The exhibition presents a month-long historical examination of the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community and its longtime allies, featuring established & emerging Detroit artists, as well as artists whose careers were shortened by HIV/AIDS.

Mighty Real/Queer Detroit is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to promoting positive and meaningful images of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through artistic and intellectual means. © 2023. All Rights Reserved.