Found within the sweltering melting pot that is Austin, Texas, Darnell Griffiths is one of many artists working to keep the city vibrant, creative, and – as the locals fondly phrase it – weird. As a poet and photographer, he speaks not only with words, but images. With a strong, clear, and engaging voice, it’s surprising that Darnell has practiced image making introspectively, since leaving Ohio.
“Back home, I had a collective of people around me. When I came to Austin, I kind of self-isolated. I moved here in the middle of Covid, so that was part of it, but I didn’t really find myself trying to work with other people. Photography became an isolated pleasure, an outlet,” he muses.
“I found myself navigating towards subjects that had a somber, sad, emotional look and feel. It’s how I got into street photography. There’s a big, unhoused community here in Austin – and I admire how much they encapsulate the human spirit of survival. Even if we haven’t faced the same struggles, we can all relate to persisting in the face of life’s low points. Here, though, you’ll see them outside five-star restaurants and other affluent sites.