by TOMMY JARRELL
It doesn’t take long to recognize that DABSMYLA’s artwork is both ethereal and captivating. DABSMYLA is a dynamic, husband-and-wife, street art duo from Australia. Their murals populate cities all around the world including New York, Tahiti, Berlin, Melbourne, Rio, London, Bergen, Detroit, D.C., and, as you have probably already guessed, Los Angeles. Notably, the twosome has crafted works of art for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards, The Bob Barker MarionetteTheatre, the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Adidas, Sanrio, and others.
Their work is bright and colorful, charming and orchestrated-- like a scene handpicked from one of your most lively dreams. Their work is poppy without being cloying or saccharine. Sometimes it features inventive, cartoonish patterns and characters that can elicit our most genuine and heartfelt smiles.
In their artwork, clouds, drums, eyeballs, pineapples, and even golden popcorn buckets sprout legs and can meander through fantastical worlds. Within their creations, houses, moons, and cans of spray paint possess faces loaded with whimsy and personality. A buck can lounge and sip fine wine by a cozy fire. A cut cake, with a face, can be seemingly aware of its mortal wound. But even within these capacious and vibrant worlds there are remnants of our own like the mountains and cacti outside a window, lifeless vases stuffed with flowers, light fixtures, shelved books, and the sleepy telephone always resting on its rocker nearby. Their art offers us a glimpse into a world like ours, but different. Maybe even better.
This work is abundant, seemingly overflowing with color, creativity, and fauna. The number of flowers, ferns, and leaves result in an astounding amount of depth in this mural. So much, in fact, that the lettering spelling out “COSMIC LOVE” seems to appear organically within their dreamscape, rather than being a separate element that tells us how to feel or read the piece.
The romantic pink and red lettering that emerge from the depths of this painting’s backdrop are naturally complimented by flowers done in the same shades. The plants, the flowering vines, the leaves, and ferns in the foreground that overlap the text feel natural and are necessary to achieve this level of illusion.
What tickles me the most about this mural is the black, eight-legged critter positioned on a pale green leaf near its center. His yellow eyes directed toward the upper righthand corner of the painting make him appear skittish and paranoid in an endearing and creaturely way. The fact that he is the only character in the piece makes him even more remarkable and darling to a mural that has the capacity to inspire us to live and love more vividly when we walk away from it, even if we must do so reluctantly.
So, where is this artwork?
You can find this exquisite piece of street art on the northeast corner of Wilton and Hollywood Boulevard. Also nearby there's a California Donuts, Catch 56, Sabor Y Cultura, and a number of other cafes.
Tommy Jarrell is a poet, writer, and artist who lives in Los Angeles. He has previously written for Bleacher Report and Throwback. His poems have appeared in The Squaw Valley Review and 805.