By: Grainne Rhuad
A few months ago a large box was delivered to my doorstep by FedEx. This in and of itself was nothing out of the ordinary. Being in a somewhat isolated northern California town, a lot of what I buy is online and delivered by one service or another. We have no clothing stores here beyond Target and the ever present Wal-Mart. So, naturally, I thought it was one of the orders I am almost always expecting.
When I opened the box I was in for a delightful surprise. Art! The box contained five original pieces in a style that just spoke to me. Dogs and Boba Fete and others. I was in love! I also knew it wasn’t mine so, somewhat sadly I looked at the address and while it was meant to come to my house; it was for someone else entirely.
After taking a moment to talk myself out of my baser instincts to keep the art, I started asking my neighbors if they knew the person on the box. I have only lived here a year, so I figured someone must have known the previous inmate of my house.
A side note: I think I am the only one who reaches out to people in my neighborhood. None of my neighbors knew the previous resident which I thought was kind of strange. The landlord said they had lived here for some time, a fact which later, said resident confirmed for themselves. Isn’t it strange that in a neighborhood where most of the people own their homes and the guy next door was born in his house and his family lived there since 1920 or somewhere thereabouts, nobody knows each other? I knew I was getting strange looks when I delivered holiday cookies and treats to everyone this year but my gods! How do people watch out for their neighborhood if they don’t know their neighbors?
I know I’m getting off on a tangent but really we need to do better. This year our household participated in a community garden in the vacant but fertile back yard of the previously mentioned neighbor. It was like pulling teeth to get a plan together and we ended up doing a lot of the work ourselves, delivering vegetables to those who had joined in and saving seeds. Hopefully this work will help in developing a community for our neighbors. It seems silly to share a plot of land. (There are three rental houses on my lot) garage space and garbage as well as parking and never talk to one another.
In fact, I was reading about the Egyptian revolutions last week, the single most important thing to regular everyday people getting by and not being robbed, raped and murdered was knowing one’s neighbors. Neighborhoods that talked before the revolution did better than those where everyone minded their own business and avoided eye contact. Knowing your neighbor became integral to survival. I guess we’ve forgotten this in our comfort. I know that growing up poor, neighborhood good will and kindness was so integral to everyone getting by.
But, back to art.
I couldn’t find the intended recipient so I went online and looked for the artist himself and found him. Darby Krow was relatively easy to find on Facebook and answered back quickly. Helping me track down the buyer of his art. It turns out the delivery was to a relative, the buyer lived somewhere on the Lost Coast, a very secluded bit of California, a place where people truly go to be alone, or to farm. I’ve camped there and gone on road trips and fishing. It’s beautiful and there’s absolutely nothing there but some cattle and beet farms. I could see why it was to be delivered to the relative civilization of Humboldt.
Connecting with Darby Krow however, was an accident of great benefit. Darby is an artist who lives and works in the Los Angeles area. His profile on RAW-Natural Born Artists states that he is driven by his nightmares. Which, aren’t we all as artists? It’s nice to think that we are driven by dreams and stardust but really it’s the nightmares that stay with us and make us think, question and DO things. Whether we are embracing them or trying to keep ahead of them.
His artwork explores pop culture, but in a way that questions as well as celebrates it. It looks at the good bits as well as the really very ugly underbellyish bits. I found it incredibly interesting and thought provoking as well as just awesome because I love pop culture. I would bathe in pop culture all day everyday if I could. It reflects everything about us in both a subtle and unsubtle way and his art captures that.
His medium of choice mostly seems to be acrylic on canvas. He also does commissions. For my trouble, which wasn’t so much trouble at all, indeed it was more interesting than anything else; Darby sent me one of his pieces. I can’t thank him enough because it is of Hunter S. Thompson. Of course most writers list Thompson as one of their favorites and inspirations. But, what he didn’t know is my father in law was Thompson’s neighbor in Colorado for a while. We have all sorts of family stories of Thompson’s crazy early morning explosive shenanigans in our family. Also, my mother in law at a completely separate time and place lived near to Thompson in Big Sur, where he spent a lot of time “finding himself” in around Esalen. (Translation: taking a copious amount of drugs, writing and hiding out from people in general) There is a family connection and I am eversohappy with the painting he chose to send. He has a couple of Thompson. This one actually I liked better than the others.
Whether or not Fate is real, it was a real experience at a time when I needed it. I was in an entirely new community, finding out that wherever I go, I’m still myself and trying to deal with all of that. This art came at a crucial time for me. So did the job of making sure someone else’s art got to them. It was a distraction I needed.
We all need art. We don’t always know when we need it.
Darby by the way is also clothing designer and a musician you can find his music also on his Facebook page, but here is some of it for you now:
If you are in the Los Angeles area, check him out when he is playing and/or has a show, he usually posts when that is. Also hit him up for his paintings they are reasonably priced and you should have art in your home…You really should!
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the artists’ collective he belongs to is also a thing I found that I love. A place for artists of all types to come together to support one another, show their work and get the word out. All founded and kept moving by artists. Rawartists.org is a place you should know about. What started as a place for artists to stand out a bit in the big pond of L.A. has become a nationwide supportive community, operating in several cities across the U.S.
Sometimes mistakes happen like misdelivered mail. Sometimes they really aren’t mistakes as much as opportunities to learn something new or meet someone new or grow beyond yourself. That sounds like the definition of Art doesn’t it?
To contact Darby Krow about his art and music and/or to commission some art find him at Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/darby.krow?fref=ts
To listen to and explore more of his music check his stream on Soundcloud-https://soundcloud.com/darby_krow
To find out more about RAWartists.org take a look here- http://www.rawartists.org/
You can also check out a lot more of his art @ http://instagram.com/darbykrow and http://darbykrow1.tumblr.com/ and here: http://darbykrow.wix.com/darbykrow#!bio/c60z