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

‘Sneak Peek’ for Brian Viveros’ ‘The Dirtyland’ updated…

Check out the ‘Sneak Peek’ on our Flickr for ‘The Dirtyland‘ here:

Brian M. Viveros ‘The Dirtyland’

New paintings, drawings, sculptures, editions and an installation

Opening Reception: Sat, Oct. 2nd 7-11PM

On view: Oct. 2nd – Oct. 23rd

More details soon!

6009 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

An interview with Sarah Joncas

Sarah Joncas at work on her mural for 'Siren' - opening this Fri, Sept. 3rd at Thinkspace

An interview with Sarah Joncas

For anyone who follows Sarah Joncas‘ work, it should come as no surprise that music has and is a large influence on her painting process. Just as mediums or materials are essential to creating, Joncas considers music a necessary ingredient to developing and fulfilling her ideas. It was no doubt that sooner or later music would become the central theme to a body of her work. From instrument to dance, the artist has brought music to the forefront of her solo female narratives and embraced this all-important part of our culture. Similar to the pop element in her work (visually impacted by sources such as comic books, anime, film and cartoons), Joncas’ musical inspirations are mostly streaming from rock and alternative roots. Suitably given the title ‘Siren‘, this show is about the seduction and romance of music. It gets us moving, gets us singing, tugs at the heartstrings and becomes undeniably infused with our character and how we identify with the world. To further this theme, all the works included in ‘Siren’ have been named after songs/lyrics/bands that suit them or provide an opening to interpretation. Some inspired by, some titled afterwards with consideration. Though physically silent, it has always been the artist’s hope to create work that can speak and touch someone in a similar way as a piece of music does.

Sarah Joncas 'Lullaby' - 20x24" - oil on canvas

Please talk a lil’ bit about the work that makes up your new series for ‘Siren‘. Was there one particular moment that helped to shape this body of work?
Well, I’ve wanted to make a music themed body of work for awhile now, which may not be so surprising. The title felt suitable as this show is about the seduction and romance of music, as well as linking to my usual subject matter of dark, solitary women. I wasn’t entirely certain that this would be my direction in the beginning, but after starting on a couple pieces – a dancer and a quiet geisha holding a guitar – everything else just flowed out naturally and without hesitation.

'Wish You Were Here' in Sarah's studio in Canada

Why did you choose to become an artist?
It was a fairly natural course for me. I hate to be the cliché and say I knew from the beginning, but I kind of did. I loved drawing even at 2-3 years old, told my mom at 5 that’s what I wanted to do. It’s just what makes me happy!

Sarah's paintings for 'Siren' just back from our framers

From your time at art school, name one thing you learned while there that has stuck with you to this day?
Don’t let anyone stop you from making the art you want to make! It’s good to take suggestions and criticism, it might even benefit your work, but you’ll be better off doing what makes you happy since that’s where the passion for creating is. I’d be so miserable if I listened to a prof who told me figure painting is dead… Besides, he was wrong.

A look at 'Moody Blues' on the easel in Sarah's studio

The works in your new series are all named after popular songs from the rock and alternative realms. Would you one day like to work with a band on creating the layout/concept for their album art? If so, which one band would you pick if you had your choice?
I guess I would be pretty amazed with such an offer, at least if it were a band I enjoyed. I’d feel so unworthy though, haha. There are so many musicians I love, but I keep going over what bands my work might actually suit rather than just anyone. Maybe a band with a strong female lead like Portishead, Tori Amos, Cat Power, Bat for Lashes, Garbage etc…

Sarah Joncas 'Siren Song' - 14x18" - oil on canvas

Being from Canada, what do you like most about California when you come to visit? What strikes you as the biggest difference?
Well, I haven’t traveled much of Canada yet, but compared to what I’ve seen – the landscape! And all those crazy trees. Somehow I doubt someone would visit Ontario and gawk at the pines, but every time I saw a cool looking tree in LA I had to take a photo and touch the bark… Is that weird? And you guys have the ocean and all those valleys… My answer might be different if I got the chance to travel to BC or the Maritimes, but I haven’t.

Sarah Joncas' sketch for her mural for 'Siren' along with photos of her past mural installations at Thinkspace

What have you got coming up in terms of shows after your show with us?
I have a piece in the Last Rites Gallery (New York, NY) October group show, a piece for your 5 year anniversary show in November, and a solo I’m already starting work on for April with the Last Rites Gallery… Expect the work to get dark for that one.

Sarah Joncas 'My Little China Girl' - 16x20" - oil on canvas

Sarah Joncas ‘Siren’

Opening Reception: THIS FRI, Sept. 3rd 7-11PM

Check out Sarah’s progress on her mural for ‘Siren’ here:

6009 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232