CR: I set up an e-mail account for the blog in the first few weeks of its inception and then completely forgot about it. Maybe three months later, I thought, shit I better check that email! And of course, there was a message there from i-D from like three months prior, asking me to do a fashion story for them. They of course ignored me when I wrote back. But within the first year, I heard from Sarah at Colette––she has really helped enormously with the exhibitions, the collaborations, and stuff like that. I've been incredibly lucky.
GT: You just had a great show in Italy, and Colette is cray-cray for your stuff. Is there a Euro appeal in your designs?
CR: I think being in Colette helps attracts a Europen audience because everyone has great respect for the store, but most of the blog visitors are from USA, specifically New York.
GT: Why do you think this is?
CR: I just think people can relate to him––he doesn't talk to butterflies, live in the clouds, or skip down rainbows. He gets sick of walking up six-floor walk-ups, waiting in line for 10 hours for a fucking coffee in SoHo every morning, and gets desperately lonely. It's just a normal, boring life. He has some clue about what’s going on in the world––it's not dumbed down. It's not like watching Bravo, where you turn your brain off. He challenges you to think.
GT: What’s been the most popular post?
CR: In the early days, there was this Halloween drawing where Darcel had on one horrific thing after the other: a Croc, an Ugg boot, a Snuggie, an Ed Hardy cap, and a pair of those Kanye West shutter sunglasses that every tourist buys in Chinatown. That was pretty popular.
GT: Did you like any particular designers growing up?
CR: During high school, I was pretty sheltered from the international art scene in Australia. Once I got to University I started figuring what I liked. But my whole knowledge came from my dad's Australian art history books. My dad is a civil engineer, but he's a bit of a weekend artist. As a little kid, I used to trace all of the images in his books––your Norman Lindsays, Albert Tuckers, and Albert Namatjiras. Artists like that.
GT: Can we talk about the portraits that you recently showed in Milan?
CR: The portraits came about because I wanted to experiment with some new ideas and techniques I had ticking around my head. The first series was of nine of my friends in black-and-white. I slowly started introducing color and playing with other ideas and combinations. Then Slam Jam asked me to do a show in Italy, and it developed from there. For one of the shows, I did a large sculpture of Michelangelo Antonioni. That was the first time I’d done a three-DIMENSIONAL VERSION of a portrait. It was good learning how to apply my designs to different mediums, as opposed to being just a print or a painting.
GT: I think the Darcel Friends Remixes are great, as they’re often with designers that have such a contrasting style to yours. How do you come about these collaborations?
CR: They’re always with people that I absolutely respect, people whose work I’ve been familiar with for a long time. It’s just an opportunity to talk to them. Or if I’m lucky enough to know them already, it's a good opportunity to work with a friend.
GT: Is there anyone you wanna work with you haven't had a chance to work with?
CR: Yes! Crazy Frog! I’m desperate to work with him! I’ve been trying to set up for like 2 years!
GT: Crazy Frog?! I haven’t heard from him that since I was in London in 2004! It was probably every other commercial on TV.
CR: That’s the thing, no one gets it in the US! Even in Australia it was #1!
GT: Are there any Craig Redman or Darcel copycats?
CR: Definitely. Someone emailed me the other day asking, “Did you do a portrait of Mr. T and Steve Jobs?” Not me! I think its funny.
GT: Is Darcel inextricably tied to New York? Can you see yourself doing Darcel anywhere else?
CR: Darcel always goes whenever I go. It would sort of be fun to live in LA and see how Darcel copes.
GT: Can you give me your top 5 Darcel moments in history?
CR: They would have to be: