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DabsMyla - Till Death Do Us Art

Words:

Edd Norval
April 12, 2021

This husband and wife duo create whimsical and playful art, where their characters traverse imaginary landscapes filled with flowers and depictions of paradise. They’re happy places. They’re the kinds of places you wouldn’t mind being lost in. That’s what this couple want, for you to be lost in their art, just as they get lost when creating it.

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Originally from Melbourne, the pair now reside in Los Angeles and have done since 2009. Despite their slightly different backgrounds in youth, the pair met in art school studying illustration and found solace not just in the presence of each other, but in the visual language that they spoke at the time, which slowly began to combine to that which they wished to speak in the future.


Functioning both as graffiti writers and illustrative artists, their movement around each other is like a dance, injecting little pieces of their own personality as they navigate their surface. It’s similar to the way to musicians jam together, playing with the sounds and the silence, just as DabsMyla interact with the spaces, forms and colours. 


Togetherness, for DabsMyla, really is a lived experience. Working on the same desk, on the same projects and for the same people, they’ve built a shared language, an artistic short-hand that enables them to communicate in a kinetic manner. Naturally, a life lived together means that inspirations are very similar, aiding in the holistic process of creation.

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From the cities they see to the places they eat, ideas not only crop up from their surrounding but how they reflect and talk about it later. An artist’s interaction with their environment is usually like an internal monologue, where notes on the scenery and people are jotted down mentally. For DabsMyla, it becomes a living and breathing thing, discussed as soon as it’s seen - just as you’d point out something that appealed to you to your friends.


This experience imbues their works with a seamless energy of reciprocation. Everything exists for a purpose, even if that purpose is only because two people agree that ia certain thing should be in a certain exact space. Filled with deep symbolism, both personal and universal, the duo’s work is described thusly:


There is nothing random or erroneous in DABSMYLA’s work; it’s planned and executed with the precision of a diamond heist and with the charm of a Technicolor world.


DABSMYLA enhance their works with immersive environments that enhance the sense of whimsy and grandeur contained inside paintings, mixed media and sculpture. This milieu isn’t simply adornment, but rather the tangible foundation for which everything else stands upon.

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It is fascinating the ways that we can try to decode their world and pick apart what the references can mean to us and what they could mean to them. Relationships are characterized by an insular sense of living, where a life lived inside of them is slightly different to the external world. In-jokes, cross-references and shared memories become bared to us, the audience, as we are able to understand the way these manifest through the art they create. 


This is something unique in the solitary world of art. Exploring the psychology of a single artist is one thing, but the dynamic created by a pair offers up something completely different for the audience. When it comes to a husband and wife team, then we are learning about the trials, tribulations, failures and success of two different individuals who create as one, in love with each other, in love with what they do.

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