Damon Arhos (b. 1967) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator, and social activist whose work explores and unfolds queer culture. Arhos seeks to promote love and acceptance while investigating social and political environments surrounding gender roles and sexual orientation.
Arhos creates installations that reference popular culture while infusing themes that reflect his identity. He frequently uses repetition, appropriation, and everyday situations to explore multifaceted concepts. In addition to drawing, painting, and collage, he employs installation, video, and other media as means of expression.
Driven by an interest in portraiture, he has developed diverse expressions of the self and of historical figures who have significance in the LGBTQ+ community. His large-scale portrait Matthew Shepard Was A Target hangs in the Denver, Colorado headquarters of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. More recently, he has employed digital photography to merge self-portraits with those of diverse role models, using the resulting images as inspiration for paintings.
Arhos has exhibited work with Ortega y Gasset Projects and NOGO Arts in New York City; Catalyst Contemporary in Baltimore, Maryland; Connersmith, DC Arts Center, and IA&A at Hillyer in Washington, DC; and E.A.S.T. and the People’s Gallery in Austin, Texas – among others. He has served as an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson and is a former semifinalist for The Trawick Prize.
His affiliations include or have included STABLE, Washington Printmakers Gallery, and DC Arts Studios in Washington, DC; as well as Art Alliance Austin, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, and the Pump Project Art Complex in Austin, Texas.
Arhos graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore with an MFA in studio art, as well as from The University of Texas at Austin with master’s degrees in business administration and journalism. He teaches studio art and art history courses at Bowie State University. He lives and works in the Washington, DC metro area.