Monday, December 17, 2012

Meet Painter Extraordinaire Darryl LaVare

I first noticed Darryl in the East Village years ago.  At the time, I only knew of her as a popular afterschool babysitter and a gal who always looked fabulous:  punk rock tee, leather biker jacket, tiny pleated mini, and pointy boots.   When I finally did formally meet her, I was touched by her warmth and openness.  As is so often the case with my fellow mother friends, I didn't realize until later that Darryl was not just a well-loved caregiver, but also a fabulous artist, trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, which she left her hometown of Memphis to attend in 1986.  After graduation, she moved to New York City and right into the lower east side:  "177 Ludlow St."  Says Darryl, "I was in NY so much throughout college that people just assumed I lived there."  While in New York working on her own career, Darryl met many artists and musicians who would go onto be famous, if they weren't already:  the dashing experimental filmmaker Nick Zedd (who she dated!), Rockets Redglare, John Waters, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Kern, and respective members of Bad Brains, the Butthole Services, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Stone Temple Pilots, to name a few. 

Currently, Darryl is bringing up two lovely daughters and is on a roll with her art.  Check out many of her paintings whose images are featured here.  "Like" Darryl's artwork here!

Are you in a tight place?  If so, what are you trying to do about it?
What comes to mind for me is that I feel like I’m trying to face my fears.  There was a time that I was afraid to paint.  For many different reasons, I’ve been taking action and trying to face my fear of failure.  In the past, perfectionism prevented me from making art:  I didn't want to start something if it wasn't going to be brilliant.  I’m trying to let go of some of that.  I’m trying to have faith and have the courage to face my demons and just do it.  I’m trying to be led by unknown forces.  Do the footwork and be led by the universe or a higher power.  I pray—for lack of a better word—to have the insight and the courage and the wisdom to see where I should be going.  I’ve been feeling good about that.  I’m not religious, but more spiritual.  And I find the more that I do it, the more it works.  It could be a side of me or an intuition I’m tapping into, I don't know, but if I put it out there, people seem to have ideas for me.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by other friends going through their creative processes.  And I’m trying to inspire other friends.  It’s basically a group of artists who are supporting each other.  For my art, I'm definitely inspired by people, human nature.  Right now, I'm doing a series of Tompkins Square Park riots, punks, police, homeless people, and right now, protestors.  I really think that the Tompkin Square Park riots of '88 came about as a result of class war like the Occupy Wall Street movement.  The paintings I’ve been making look new, but they're about these riots that are now a part of history.  Usually, for my work, I choose a theme and I do a series.  I work from photographs.  I try to take the photographs, but for this current series, Clayton Patterson let me choose from some photos.   He was there during the riots and took lots of photos, so I’ve been working from those.  My latest paintings are from photos I took from the Williamsburg Bridge.   In these have included my daughters.  I like the combination of the graffiti, the sky, and the bridge together.

What do you want to get done this year?  (Or next?)
I’d love to have gallery representation.  That's my big dream.  That would make it possible for me to spend more time painting and showing.  This year and next, I plan on continuing to paint.  I also hope to again teach the art and mural classes at my kids' school.  And I should have my website done soon!

What's your favorite legwear?
I always, always wear black leggings.  Last year, I bought so many different colors and textures of stockings--and sometimes I layered the lace and the leggings--but usually I just wear the black leggings. 

1 comment:

  1. julie, you know the raddest people! darryl, i'm inspired by your vibrant paintings and outfits, and by your work strategies. it's so great to hear how an artist is making her way in the world. please let GITP know when you get representation!