I first met Darrell while I still had an Ad Agency during the early 90’s. Darrell was a client and I bought two paintings from him; this Diptych called ‘Friends’ and another called ‘Alien Car Crash’. These two paintings became my lifelong buddies and travelled with me through many homes and relationships. I like the contrast; Darrell is the most normal person I know and his paintings are … not.
Darrell Hall’s visual discussions allude to the consumerism of western society and the way that our lives are punctuated through banal products and food items. Hall states, “ Being bombarded by products and product promotion for most of my life (as most people in the western world and now in developing countries) it’s little wonder these images surface in my paintings.” The inclusion of such elements, lend Hall’s work to fall under the notion of “Gaudy Art”: characterised by a New ugliness – drawing on elements of popular culture it appeals instantly to the masses through the everyday iconology depicted.
The Kitsch element is essentially ugly, offering an aesthetic interest that is non doctrinaire in its consideration, and is often referred to as the “Romance of the New”. The work is merry, while the “ugly” irresistible, depicting an unavoidable reality in which we exist. Hall refers to narratives included within the works by commenting – “As we all venture through our lives it’s inevitable one will experience many characteristics in people be it love, hate, greed, generosity, stupidity, cleverness, dominance, subservience etc.
These experiences also are woven into my narrative.” Stylistically aligning his narrative with that of popular culture, there is a pervading sense of parody through out Halls work as he makes light of the situations and consumerism within our society. Comic strip compositional elements also reiterate pop culture considerations. Hall’s work explores how western products are interwoven into the fabric of our life and how their reinterpretation as a communication tool in fact emphasizes everyday engagements.