Dabs Myla have the reputation of being one of the nicest art duos in the scene. Within moments of being in their presence you can’t help but feel their joy, happiness, love, and inspiration. As you walk around the gallery, you can’t help but smile back at the artwork as it smiles at you. You find yourself smiling at the toaster, the clouds, the tea kettle, etc. You feel as if you have stumbled upon some magical little land embodying the best elements of Disneyland and Pee Wee’s Playhouse. As a collaborative pair, Dabs is known for his mischievous and humorous characters while Myla is known for her photo-realistic cityscapes. Since their move to Los Angeles, Dabs and Myla have never spent more than a couple of hours apart, and they say they’re living the dream. “I guess we are pretty lucky… two peas in a pod! Two crazy, workaholic, mad dorks in a pod! After years of living, painting walls and working together, we have only become closer, stronger and even more in sync. Every day we wake up, paint all day, and k and keep each other entertained with constant chatter and stupid jokes. Who could ask for more out of life?” Thinkspace is pleased to present ‘The Best of Times’, an exhibition featuring new works and multiple installations from the collaborative duo of Dabs Myla. ‘The Best of Times’ will showcase a dozen new acrylic paintings on wood panel alongside a small collection of graphite works on paper. Their new series of paintings and drawings will be presented alongside close to 100 hand painted installation elements ranging from old coffee tables and empty paint cans to teapots and ashtrays.
Recently Warholian correspondent Jennifer Leigh Strauss had the opportunity to stop by Thinkspace Gallery for a quick visit with Dabs Myla who were kind enough to let us shoot some photographs while they were hard at work. They also answered some questions for us…
1) Thoughts on this whole Australian planking craze? Have you tried it? Planking, increasingly popular in Australia, involves people lying flat on their stomachs in various and sometimes dangerous settings and then posting photographs on the Internet.
We don’t plank…we just observe!!!!
2) All I ever read about is how much you both love donuts. Heck – they even show up in your art. If you had to pick a favorite type of donut –what would it be and why?
DABS: Chocolate Jam or Pineapple Glaze, Chocolate jam is an Australian classic. The icing on your standard Chocolate Jam is really great, and the Pineapple Glaze…man…it’s such a great donut.. Not too sweet and always soft and fresh. It’s your every day donut!
3) What’s with all the hot dogs and donuts though? Seriously!
DABS: Look into the dirty parts of your mind and ask it what it thinks they are all about.
4) Describe a real-life situation that inspired you to create a piece or that has shown up directly in your art. Tell us about the situation and which piece it relates to.
MYLA: The painting ‘Best of Times’ for this exhibition is about us visiting the snow together for the first time. We were driving back from Portland in April of this year and we were shocked to see snow on the side of the freeway. We decided to pull over and take a closer look and we saw a sign which pointed to a ski resort which was only 8 miles away. So we took the road up the winding mountain…the snow got deeper and deeper until it was about 10ft deep when we arrived at the ski lodge. It was amazing up there! It was the best of times!!!
5) Since living here, what can you tell us about your favorite Hollyweird moment? What have you found to be your favorite thing to do when not creating incredible art together?
DABS: There are too many! Every day there seems to be a weird Hollywood moment that we see. It’s really such a strange place!
MYLA: We love Disneyland and if we ever get a day off we love to visit the magical kingdom!
6) You’re preparing for the opening of “The Best of Times” at Thinkspace Gallery. What can you tell us about the direction of your art / pieces for this show?
MYLA: The pieces that we have created for this show are about our life as a married couple who work together and live in California. It is about the places we have visited, things we have seen and experienced, and pretty much about how awesome we think this amazing state is!
7) As of right now, do you have any other shows scheduled in the Los Angeles area in upcoming months?
MYLA: We are part of an exhibition in San Francisco mid-September. The exhibition is an amazing line up of Australian graffiti and street artists including New2, Anthony Lister, Meggs, Sofels, Dmote, Kid Zoom and more. The show is called ‘Young and Free’ and is opening on the September 10th at 941 Geary.
8) Aside from one another, what do you consider your biggest overall influence(s)?
Our biggest influence is where we live…it inspires us every day!
9) Please list a handful of Los Angeles artists (street or gallery) of whom you follow their work.
Greg Simkins, Jeff Soto, Revok, Rime, Witnes, Nathan Ota, Mark Bodnar, Jim and Tina Darling….
10) What would you say, in your opinion, is the biggest difference(s) in street art between the United States and Australia (Or Los Angeles vs. Melbourne).
DABS: There are a lot of differences. In Melbourne they don’t buff nearly as much as they do in Los Angeles. Things can run for years….and usually do. Also, it’s a lot more relaxed in Melbourne. Writers/Artists don’t have to deal with such extreme elements just to get over.
11) Please talk about the differences between your canvas work and your street work. Do you see them meshing more these days?
MYLA: There are definitely similarities between our murals and our paintings for exhibitions. They are both made by us so of course they have the same feel and vibe even though the way that they are applied is completely different. When we paint walls it’s always very bold, vibrant and heavy in black outline…whereas our paintings are much softer, subtle and rendered. A lot of the same imagery appears in both and sometimes we use references of what we paint outside on walls in our paintings.
– Interview and photos by Jennifer Leigh Strauss Photography for Warholian.
For more on the art of Dabs Myla visit: http://www.dabsmyla.com
“The Best of Times” exhibition at Thinkspace
Opening reception with the artists: August 12, 2011 5:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m.
Runs August 13th through September 3rd
6009 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Open Wednesday – Friday, 1:00PM – 6:00PM and Saturday 1:00PM – 8:00PM