An interview with Dabs Myla

Dabs and Myla at work in their Hollywood studio

An interview with Dabs Myla

Dabs Myla‘s new body of work is based on the overwhelming experiences the two artists had while visiting one of the most hectic cities in the world, Toyko. While creating a show about Tokyo is a bit like shooting a fish in a barrel due to all the visual stimuli found there, the couple took on the task and soaked up as much pop culture as their minds could take. Between taking photographs of the architecture and sketching up ideas wherever they went, Dabs Myla feel they have created a collection of paintings that reflects the stamp left on their brains from their trip to Tokyo. Our project room will be a virtual visual overload this September as the pair fill it with a wide array of new works layered on top of a full room mural and additional installation elements including die-cut figures, buildings, clouds, and more. ‘Tokyo Deluxe’ promises an immersive experience.

Dabs Myla 'Golden Moments With Fuji and the Yokai' - 22x18" - acrylic on wood panel

Please talk a lil’ bit about your recent trip to Japan where the photo reference shots for this new series were taken.
MYLA: We visited Tokyo in April on our way back to LA from Melbourne…we spent the 5 days there exploring the city and photographing the city’s landscapes, people and characters which inspired the series of work we have created for this show. All the paintings are about experiences we had there, Japanese character’s we saw in advertisements, the food we ate and the general awesomeness of Tokyo!

Myla at work on the install for 'Tokyo Deluxe'

How did you two meet? At what moment did you both realize you wanted to work together as a team?
DABS: We met each other about 7 years ago at art school in Australia. We where both studying illustration together, and over the years we developed a good friendship, then well…one thing led to another…and we fell in love! On the first weekend we spent together as a couple we sat inside for 2 days and made a collaboration painting. From then on we have always been collaborating on different pieces here and there…but it was about 3 years ago we decided to totally merge together and create one entity, every piece of artwork we have made since then has been a collaboration…except for our graffiti pieces…painting your name/letters is something that needs to be handled one on one.

Dabs Myla 'Mr. Danger' - 9x11" - acrylic on wood panel

What do you both consider to be your biggest overall influences?
MYLA: Working as a team is definitely our biggest influence in our work…the characters, locations and themes in our work represent things that we both like and experience together! We are always bouncing ideas off each other in our pieces and although we paint separate parts of the paintings, we both influence each other in the outcome!

Dabs Myla 'Takoyaki and the Sleezy Sushi King' - 9x11" - acrylic on wood panel

Name one artist from Australia that you think is criminally underrated outside of Australia and deserves more attention Stateside?
DABS: I gotta say NEW 2..Growing up he was a massive influence for me in graffiti through the mid/late 80’s to the mid 90’s. Then he came back on the scene about 10 years ago and is still such an amazing artist, with a real graff structure to his letters that can’t be beat! Then on top of that his fine art and ceramic letters that he sculpts are equally as strong and legit as his graffiti. New 2 recently relocated to Belgium where he is still totally on top of his game showing some Euro cats what time it is!

Dabs working on the installation for 'Tokyo Deluxe'

From your time in Australia running a gallery, please name one thing you learned from that experience that has stuck with you to this day?
DABS: As an artist, we really did learn a lot from the time spent running a gallery. A lot of artists i think find it hard to really understand the relationship between an artists and a gallery and that both are just as important as each other. A gallery needs good artists to run successfully, but an artist needs a good gallery working for them just as much! I think we have a pretty good understanding of that by having been on both sides of the fence!

Dabs laying in some final details on the 'Tokyo Deluxe' installation

What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your exhibit with us?
DABS: Well…First thing coming up for us after this show is our wedding which is just a few weeks after the show opens! We have a bunch of Australians coming out to LA to celebrate with us, as well as all our friends here in LA. It’s gonna be so much fun! In November we’ll have a new piece in your 5 Year Anniversary show. In December we will head back down to Miami for Art Basel/Primary Flight… Then we will start working on some new work for a show we are having in Palm Springs at M Modern gallery. It will be during Modernism week in Palm Springs, so we will make a set of paintings based on a modernism style?..but with a DABS and MYLA spin. We also have our show next summer at Thinkspace which we will start working on in the next couple of months too!!!

Dabs and Myla at work on the 'Tokyo Deluxe' installation

Being from Australia, what strikes you as the biggest difference between your home there and your new home here in Los Angeles?
MYLA: Donuts, the weather and palm trees! Australian donuts are not as fluffy, but are also very delicious, Melbourne weather has a pretty cold winter and there are only a few palm trees where we are from!!!

Paul Hogan or Russel Crowe?
DABS: Seriously…no contest at all!!..Paul Hogan is a true blue legend! Crocodile Dundee?..forget about it, that shit was genius! Russell Crowe…he can act I guess but he is such a douche that it cancels out any talent he may have!! I’m glad you didn’t mention Mel Gibson! You don’t wanna get me started on that guy, hes putting our country to shame!…see now im all worked up, thanks a bunch!

Why are Tim Tams SOOO damn good?
DABS: That would be because the chocolate they use in a Tim Tam has crack cocaine in it!..that’s my theory anyways..its the only explanation for it!

Dabs Myla 'Tokyo Deluxe' - 9x11" - acrylic on wood panel

Dabs Myla ‘Tokyo Deluxe’

Opening Reception: THIS FRI, Sept. 3rd 7-11PM in our project room

Check out Dabs Myla’s progress on their installation here:

6009 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

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