Tim Hans shoots… Dabs and Myla


This is the first in what will hopefully be a long series of a posts where Tim Hans photographs artists and someone at Vandalog interviews them. I’ve known Tim since we were in high school together and been a fan of his photography for nearly that entire time, so I’m excited that Tim will be sharing his work with the Vandalog community.

To start off this series, Tim met up with the Australian duo Dabs and Myla. I interviewed Dabs and Myla last summer as part of the research on the book that I’m working on, and I’m now publishing some highlights from that interview for the first time.

Dabs on getting into graffiti in Melbourne:

I grew up in Melbourne. I didn’t even venture that far off my own train line. I lived on a trainline called the Belgrave Line. I lived way out on the end of the line, so most of my time was spent traveling in and out of the city on that line. So I didn’t really see much other than my local graffiti. I didn’t have that much money for magazines and books either, I had a handful of magazines, which were mostly an Australian magazine called Hype, but I didn’t really look beyond Melbourne even into other parts of Australia other than those few mags. The only graffiti I was paying attention to was what I was seeing in Melbourne at the time and what had come before me.

Dabs’ early views on street art:

When street art really started to boom, I was really against it for some reason. Graffiti writers didn’t like putting the two things in the same category: Like a skateboarder and a rollerblader. When people started putting those two things together, skateboarders started hating rollerbladers. I think it was a similar thing with graffiti and street art. But over time I guess I got a bit more tolerant and a bit wiser to what it is. Now, I don’t really have a problem with street art! But I do think the two things need to be segregated more because they really are so different.


On why their work has found an audience:

Myla: I think what people say continuously is that it makes them feel happy when they see our work. I think that’s why people like it. It’s because everything we do is so positive.

Dabs: The most common thing we hear is, ‘I really like your work. It just fucking makes me smile.’ Even from the hardest dudes. It’s cool when anyone says they appreciate or like our work, if its like an old lady, a little kid or a middle-aged girl or whatever, but I love it when super-hard dudes say that. I get a kick out of it.

Dabs on working both indoors and outdoors:

The transition from a street-based artist or a graffiti writer to fine art is notoriously hard. It’s a really difficult thing for people to make that transition. So many people I know have found it hard. They are so far away from each other, and finding a way to make that transition other than just reproducing it onto a canvas can be a super bitch. For us, it was pretty easy I think because we always went at it on a completely different path. That was one of the reasons why we never painted characters on walls was because we where trying to keep our graffiti and illustrations separate from each other, and I remember about 4 years ago Rime said to me ‘Why wouldn’t you paint characters on walls? That’s stupid. That’s what your paintings are. Why wouldn’t you do that? It helps tie things to your paintings.’ Originally, when we started working together, our graffiti was our graffiti and our paintings were something different. Even though they are under the same name and made by the same people, it was like we were attacking them as different people, just with the same name. We tried to push the two away from each other, and eventually the roads have kind of worked back into each other. I’m happy for it to be like this though!

Photos by Tim Hans

Weekend link-o-rama

Aryz in Næstved, Denmark. Click to view large.

Just a question: Anyone wish an air-conditioned home want to trade places with me until things cool down? Anyway, here’s some linkage to what’s been going on with art this week:

Photo by Henrik Haven

SPACE//FORM: a show curated by Sven Davis

Judith Supine

Sven Davis, probably best-known for being Arrested Motion‘s UK Director, has curated a show that will be taking place next month in Portland, Oregon. SPACE//FORM is a massive group show involving over 100 artists who were each given a 10×10 inch panel on which to work. The results are looking good. Plus, the show will include installations by Mark Dean Veca and Michael Murphy. Here’s the full list of artists:

Aakash Nihalani, Adam Normandin, Adam Wallacavage, Alex Lukas, Alicia Dubnyckyj, Amy Casey, Anthony Zinonos, Augustine Kofie, Ben Eine, Bill McRight, Blaine Fontana, Brendan Monroe, Brett Amory, Carl Cashman, Carl Riddle. Cheryl Molnar, Chloe Early, Chris Ballantyne, Chris Scarborough, Christian Mendoza, Christopher Derek Bruno, Clayton Brothers, Cleon Peterson, Dabs Myla, Dana Brown, Dave Kinsey, David Kassan, David O’Brien, Deedee Cheriel, Doze Green, Drew Tyndall, Eric Shaw, Eric White, Erik Mark Sandberg, Francesco Igory Deiana, Frank Gonzales, Gary Taxali, Geoff McFetridge, Ghostpatrol, Greg Eason, Greg Lamarche, Hamishi, Henry Gunderson, Ian Francis, Jacob Magraw Mickelson, James Marshall (Dalek), Jason Thielke, Jeff Depner, Jeff Soto, Jim Houser, Jordin Isip, Josh Keyes, Joshua Krause, Judith Supine, Kai & Sunny, Karin Krommes, Karl de Vroomen, Katrin Fridriks, Kenji Hirata, Kevin Cyr, Kevin Earl Taylor, Kevin Peterson, Kid Acne, Kozyndan, Kris Lewis, Kristen Schiele, Lex Thomas, Logan Hicks, Lola Dupré, Louis Reith, Lucas Price, LX One, Mario Wagner, Marissa Textor, Mark Dean Veca, Mark Schoening, Mark Warren Jacques, Mark Whalen, Mars-1, Martin Wittfooth, Mary Iverson, Matt Leines, Maya Hayuk, Michael Murphy, Mike Stilkey, Moneyless, Nick Walker, Pakayla Biehn, Paul Insect, Pete Watts, Reginald S. Aloysius, Remi Rough, Rich Jacobs, Richard Colman, Ricky Allman, Rostarr, Russell Leng, Ryan Shaffer, Ryan Stewart Nault, Sage Vaughn, Saner, Seonna Hong, She One, Sidney Pink, Sinc, Slinkachu, Stephanie Buer, Sweet Toof, Teresa Duck, Tim Biskup, Tom French, Tristram Lansdowne, Wayne White, Will Barras, Winston Smith

SPACE//FORM opens September 6th from 6-10pm at Breeze Block Gallery in Portland and runs through September 29th.

After the jump, check out a preview of some of the work in the show, including pieces by Lucas Price, Paul Insect and others… Continue reading “SPACE//FORM: a show curated by Sven Davis”

Meet the perfect couple… Dabs & Myla

A mural in LA by Dabs and Myla

You may have a partner with whom you get along very well. You and your partner may love each other as much as any two people have ever loved each other before. You and your partner may work together on projects all the time. But you are not Dabs and Myla. This is how perfectly in sync Dabs and Myla are as a couple and as artistic collaborators:

Photo by sabeth718


Going to the gallery

There are a bunch of shows open now or opening in the next month that I’d like to mention, but there are only so many hours in the day. So here’s a bit of a round-up:

  • Détournement: Signs of the Times is a group show that just opened at Jonathan Levine Gallery in NYC. It was curated by the legendary Carlo McCormick and features artists who “subvert consensus visual language so as to turn the expressions of capitalist culture against themselves.” Some of those artists in Détournement are Aiko, David Wojnarowicz, Ripo, Posterboy, Ron English, Shepard Fairey + Jamie Reid, Steve Powers, TrustoCorp and Zevs.
  • Chris Stain and Joe Iurato are showing together for a two-man show at NYC’s Mighty Tanaka. The show opens on Friday. These are two great and underrated stencil artists. I highly recommend checking out this show, particularly given the superb quality of Stain’s recent indoor work.
  • Sweet Toof has a solo show opening this week at High Roller Society a pop-up space in Hackney Wick, London.
  • Contemporary Wing’s (Washington, DC) latest group show, opening on the 16th, is an exhibit of secondary market work, but there should some nice stuff, including work by Shepard Fairey, WK Interact, Gaia, Faile and Blek le Rat. I must admit that I’ve included a piece in this show, but I’m not going to say which one (so if you want to help me out, just buy the entire show…).
  • Finally, Dabs and Myla have curated a show at LA’s Thinkspace Gallery which will open September 1st. In addition to their own paintings and installations, the show features 32 of their friends, plus a solo show in Thinkspace’s project room by Surge MDR. Those shows open September 1st.

Photo by Susan NYC

Wild Style Wednesday!

Skare in Paris. Photo by VitoStreet

They say actions are louder than words and a picture says a thousand words… Graffiti is the action of painting a picture of a word, thus making it an ultimate means of communication for mankind. -Szr (via 12ozProphet)

Rude Cake. Photo by by Spam Crew
Shane. Photo by HowAboutNo!
Sueme. Photo by Wojofoto
Dabs/Myla. Photo by thesaltr
Dash. Photo by Morac19
Rulers. Photo by Big Bozo
Ta'Mere. Photo by HowAboutNo!

Belated link-o-rama

El Decertor

Thanks to spending the weekend in NYC for Skewville’s show at Factory Fresh (on now and great), I am late with this week’s link-o-rama. Nonetheless, here it is:

Photo by El Decertor

Weekend link-o-rama

A wall in Munich

Sorry this is coming a day late, but Thanksgiving and related activities took priority. Here’s what I missed posting about this week:

Photo by Luna Park