It Takes Two: DabsMyla’s Modernica Pop-Up And CH+D Instagram Takeover


Artist duo DabsMyla, fresh off designing the set and revamped logo for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards, has paired up with Modernica, taking over a 1930s Spanish Revival factory located on the furniture factory’s property. Transforming the 4,000 square foot space inside and out with their signature drawings—exuberant and colorful landscapes and figures that draw on their shared history as street artists with fine art training—the installation, entitled “Before and Further,” explores their mystical union, their unseen journey of experience, and their shared creative and playful energy and runs from October 17-November 15, 2015. Encompassing painting and sculpture, all of the designs, from limited edition fiberglass shell chairs and hand-painted ceramics to lighting, accessories and prints, will be sold through Modernica. And, on Monday and Tuesday, our Instagram followers will get a sneak peek of the pop-up as the dynamic duo take over our feed with a behind the scenes look at their work in progress. Check out what they had to say about it below.

CH+D: How did the pop-up come about?  

Dabs: We’ve been looking to have a pop-up exhibition this year and we’ve been searching for a space. We wanted to build an installation that was bigger than the other installations that we’ve done. It just happened that around the same time that Modernica contacted us to have meeting about maybe doing a collaboration with one of the Eames fiberglass chairs and maybe a small table. During that meeting we saw the building that they have on their lot. As soon as we went for a walk through, both of us knew this was exactly what we’d been looking for. We love what Modernica does and we love their aesthetic and we’re a fan of Mid-century modern furniture and we have a lot of influences from that time in our work, so it just seemed like a perfect match for us.   

CH+D: Why had you wanted you wanted to do an installation? 

Myla: We really love doing installations and exhibitions and creating an environment for the viewer to walk into and experience. Usually, in a gallery setting, we get one to two weeks to set something up, but here we’ve been fortunate enough to spend time—it’ll probably be about 8.5 weeks in total—setting up this installation. You don’t often get the luxury of being able to spend so long in a space to work on something. 

CH+D: So next Monday and Tuesday (October5-6), you’re taking over the California Home + Design Instagram and we’ll get to see a little bit about a day in the life of DabysMyla. Can you share a little bit about what that’s like?

Dabs: At the moment it’s pretty crazy. We’ve been here for about two months straight working and we’ve only had one day off. Other than that, we’ve been here 12 hours, seven days a week, and we’ve got a pretty strict routine. We try to wake up as early as possible, 6 or 6:30 in the morning, and do some exercise because physically this is very hard work. We’re painting a 4,000 square foot space. There’s a lot of ladder climbing. Then we eat some breakfast and get in the car. In the morning traffic it’s an hour commute, so often we have an audio book. Right now we’re listening to a great book from John Lydon from the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd. We have a refrigerator here that we keep that fully stocked, so we don’t leave, we have all our snacks and lunch and dinner here, and then maybe around 8:30pm each night we drive home and collapse and we do the same thing again the next day.  

CH+D: How did you start working together?

Myla: We met about 12 or 13 years ago at art school. We were both studying together and we became really good friends and then we started dating and the first weekend we were together we were hanging out and we made a painting together. We really loved working together. We were doing our own artwork, our own individual stuff, but we would do a lot of paintings or murals together and after about a year or two we just decided that we really enjoyed making the collaborative pieces a lot more than we enjoyed making the pieces by ourselves, so we just stopped doing anything individually and just combined our names together and since then everything just seemed a lot clearer and it just makes sense for us. It’s been probably about 9 years since we started just solely working together. 

CH+D: That’s unique! What keeps you going?

Myla: We get along so well and we know each other, I think as well as any two people could know each other, and we never argue or disagree or there might be a time when one of us thinks, “Hey this is a good idea,” and the other one doesn’t think the same thing, and then we just talk about it and figure out what to do. We just get along. We spend all of our time with each other and we’ve never spent a full day apart from each other in the whole time we’ve been together.  

CH+D: What up next for you guys?

Myla: Straight after this, we’re painting a series of indoor and outdoor murals at The Standard Hotel downtown and hosting a Halloween party and then we have a couple of other commission pieces to do and another mural to do in Hollywood. So we’ve got a little bit of a busy schedule.   

Dabs: We’re going away at the start of December, so we’ll save up all of our rest time until then!

CH+D: What do you want people to know about this pop-up?

Dabs: The show is called “Before and Further.” It’s abstract when you look at it, but the whole idea is that all the work we made documents these two moments in time from before we knew each other that set us on a course to meet and find each other and then have the lives that we have from that point and what we do.

Make sure you follow California Home + Design on Instagram to get a sneak peek into the daily lives of DabsMyla next week! 

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