Daryl Waller is a visual artist from Cornwall who lives and works in London. He has been working as a freelance artist and illustrator since graduating from the Royal Collage of Art in 2003.
He works in a range of mediums such as painting, drawing, animation, video, performance, installation, public intervention, sound and photography. He has exhibited his work in various galleries in London, Cornwall, Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai, and is represented by the Millennium Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall. He has co-curated exhibitions with other artists’ and worked at as both a gallery technician and artists' assistant.
He has worked on music promos and album covers for Lou Barlow (of Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr fame) The Loose Salute, Jason Lytle (ex Grandaddy frontman). He has been Kneehigh Theatre's in house illustrator-artist-animator since 1999.
In 2011 he started a label called Flawedcore Records to release his own sound and music work and released his debut album 'The Baby Blues' April 6th 2015.
Ongoing annual biography project:
It was with very great sadness, but no real sense of surprise, that I learnt, at the end of last year, of the death of Daryl Waller, known to the world as Swiftie.
Although we had grown apart over the intervening decades, we had at one time been extremely close, and it pains me to think of him as he was towards the end... I prefer to remember him as he was - an opinionated young thruster, man-about-town and perpetually disgruntled contrarian.
Not that he was a saint. Not by a long chalk. Among other faults he had a tendency to become uncontrollably violent when fed guacamole after midnight, like some sort of hideous art-gremlin.
But those incidents were the exception. For the most part Daryl was just happy to paint. And it is on the paintings that his reputation will rest. Like Lou Reed and Paul Walker, those other cultural titans lost to us in 2013, Waller left behind a substantial body of work that bears closer critical inspection. And the parallels do not end there. All three were, at one time or another, heavy drug-users and prolific sexual experimenters. In fact, despite his much-vaunted lyrical prowess, I am not sure Reed ever equalled Waller's pithy summation of his sexual outlook, "I didn't realise sex could be bad for a man."
What most of his fans never realised is that Waller's work had made him fabulously wealthy. As the dead hand of austerity began to lie increasingly heavily upon the land, he was paying to have a French chateau transported to Cornwall, brick-by-brick, and raised up anew in rolling green fields on the outskirts of the housing estate where he had lived as a child.
And it was rattling around inside this enormous white elephant of a home that the end finally came for Waller. Surrounded by a braying circus of speculators, spivs and shit-heels, he subsided into senility and decrepitude, worn down by the constant demands for him to work another miracle, turn out another masterpiece, whether it be a picture of a monkey slinging a clod of it's own faeces which trailed a rainbow, or of the Pope dressed as Superman vomiting blood as he is stabbed through the heart by a kryptonite crucifix.
I will miss him, but at least we have the pictures. Always the pictures. In fact, I have several pictures. And the price is only heading one way. And there is no point getting maudlin.
See you on EBay Swiftie fans!
Matthew Humby Swanpool Beach, Cornwall, UK, January 2014.
When Daryl Waller finally agreed to give me the interview the snow had already started to melt and tufts of brown green grass had begun to appear all over the forest. Crows with grey patched tails populated the tree's, squawking. They reminded me of the black and white picture postcard of the children, bright hungry eyes, tearing fleshy strips from crow carcasses with their teeth.
We agreed to meet in the Italian restaurant in the village, the only restaurant. “I'm a really big fan of your work” I said as we sat down. An episode of The Simpson's dubbed into Russian played on the television behind his head. “Sure” he said.
“Lunch is finished” the waitress told us, “we only have soup”.
It was sorrel. Speckled bright green with bits of grey brown bobbing up and down. I tried to start the interview, “I'm interested in your theories of naturalism, the way your drawings seem to ...”
Waller interrupted me. “What do you suppose this meat is?”
“Um..” I inspected my plate, “I guess that's pork and...” I hooked a sliver on my fork, “maybe... liver?”
“I hate liver”. Waller pushed his plate away and drained his wine, “I'm going for a cigarette”. He pulled his heavy coat around him, the door clicked shut.
I watched him from the window. His eyes were fixed on something. In the distance, two sheets of ice had collided forcing each other upwards, forming a lone craggy ice-berg out on the lagoon. At its peak I could just make out a dark flag, as if it had been claimed by someone before it sank, melting back into the water.
Sacha Waldron Nida Art Colony, Neringa, Lithuania, March 2013.
He's like pretty rad and shit.
Drawing and painting stuff. Amazing awesome amazingness.
Music recording and writing and we kicked it when I came to London.
Record shopping, curry, pub crawl, cricket, charity shop shopping, you know... a couple of blokes just bloking around.
Then he came to California and I picked him up at the shipyard (in my candy apple red corvette).
We went surfing, that was soooo cool. We listened to ska and ate burritos and saw some cool shit.
We talked about art.
He said he's all about quality over quantity.
I said "Darrel.....this is why you are rad.....hugs!"
Then he bought me a Corona and we went back to my condo , and listened to the B52's (similar to his music) and got ready to go out clubbing that night.
All in all ... pretty cool, and awesome and amazing.
Right On ! DW
Jason Lytle Montana, January 2012.
Horace Brightwald (later renamed Daryl Waller by a council of elders) came unto this world by humble means.
His mother, a fletcher from the western hills, taught Daryl the importance of eating what you kill.
Colonel Waller takes that ethic into his current endeavor, capturing the shades of ancient bootblacks to sell to small business loan applicants. Former lovers describe his bedside manner as being like "walking with Satan through an airplane hangar built on a solid foundation of nightmares." Winds do not affect him. Two years later he began drawing. Early on he refused to draw even a centimeter without wearing his swan hat. Skinning swans comes natural to Daryl. So does adoring them.
In early 2000 he set off on a journey of self-realization accompanied by his trusty companion Keith, an antique man with a shaky-at-best reputation. His refusal to believe in the existence of lizards is endearing at best and a dark family secret at worst.
Clay Byers North Carolina, February, 2011.
The artist purveys the ire of gods the habits of the ancients grotesqueries dubious mythologies nature red in tooth and paw putrolithic marshes spitting out crystals he stamps his unhappy icons onto the quiet dream of the shrew.
Fearful of the goat in the deathmask and its all-seeing eyebeam he sends strings of rainbows little shouts and curses a rampageous menagerie into the wind blows the fiend skywards flashing bad teeth See him there, the artist, concentrating hard on death, the afterlife and the excrement of yaks.
Megan Wakefield Bristol, UK, 2010.