The sun’s warm milky rays filtered through the vines of the geodesic dome as the afternoon waned into an evening chill. An artist, who had been making giant bubbles only moments before, pokes in his head and points in to the IX building, telling me about a Jesus with red hair. I follow his direction and enter the foyer.
Three of the four walls are lined with canvases depicting a suspended man with long flame-colored hair and beard. I step closer, drifting from one painting to the next, examining the blend of colors in a rearing horse, the bend of the Jesus’ muscles, and the curves of the shapes in the background. A man approaches and asks what I see. It is all I can do to marvel at his craftsmanship and inquire about his symbolism.
Dylan Korelich works as an M-CAM analyst in the Omni Business Center, but also has a passion in the arts and contemplative thought. Check out his website for his full collection of the Mechanics of Consciousness and other projects.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? If not Cville, what brought you here?
I was born and raised in New York City, lived there most of my life until I was presented this crazy opportunity for employment in Charlottesville. This was to be trained as an analyst and work for M•CAM which is an intangible asset finance company. For me this was not just a geographical change it was a complete cosmic shift. You see, I had worked in NYC as a storyboard artist for over 10 years and then all of a sudden I’m moving to this little bucolic town called Charlottesville to work in finance. However, intangible asset finance is very different because their value is created through statutory enclosures and the demand that is created by those limits. I’m telling you this because what I learned here is a whole new framework in understanding value. As an Artist, this specifically relates to my life long discourse on what gives art value. I believe that creativity is manifested by broadening ones system of experience in order to increase the entropy or random particles that may crash into them and for me, moving to Cville from NYC did exactly that. This may sound ironic to some but I assure you it is not. This may sound ironic to some but I assure you it is not…. I would have never been able to fight fire as a volunteer fire fighter of if I did not move to Cville.
When and why did you start making art? What mediums have you worked with, or particularly enjoy?
Art has always been a part of my life. My aunt was a painter and my parents were stage actors at one time. I like working with my hands and I like ideas and stories. When I was a toddler I loved playing with building blocks, in grade school got into drawing. I think I just liked to make things. It’s kind of like when you’re a kid, you could do something and receive a trophy or you make something and it becomes the trophy of the thing you made. I have tried many different mediums. In depth I’ve explored film making and photography, music and motion graphics. However, drawing and doodling has always been the blue print medium for me. Although, I have played around with water colors, I really only started seriously painting for about 18 months. I started with acrylics but quickly moved to oils because if you’re going to paint the big picture I though use the mediums of the masters. There is something about the oils that I find fascinating. I think it’s because they seduce me into the present moment and force me to be conscious of all aspects of the process because with oils happy mistakes are good, but bad ones may just throw you into a rage.
Most influential artist as a child? Teen? Adult?
This is difficult to say because there are so many.
As a child it was Picasso because it was his work that inspired me to explore the question “what does it mean to appreciate art”.
During my teens it was Dali. His work is whimsical and was an easy accessible doorway to seeing the world differently.
As an adult, Peter Paul Rubens by far. To me he is the master of the big picture. His paintings are like the movies before movies.
What aspects of life excite you, stir your affections, fuel your passions, inspire your art? What influences your art?
The night sky. I have this saying “I wear the night sky like a crown upon my head. Its moon is the center-stone and the stars are the diamonds that adorn it. And their everlasting twinkle is the forever reminder that the birth place of the imagination is in the heavens.”
The Mechanics of Consciousness series is my exploration into the very mechanisms that enable me to understand my position in the internal and external universe that is my experience. And through this endeavor I feel that I am driven by the question as to whether there is a golden thread that is woven into the fabric we might call our collective consciousness. So… the spectrum of influences is quit broad. Much of it is a research into symbols and signs as a language that informs the epistemology of how we have come to “know”. This includes religion, alchemy, esoteric mysticism, science and mathematics. But there are other influences as well for example music and physical movement. In music, I have been learning the piano and my focus has been Bach and the Art of the fugue. With movement, I have been exploring partner dancing with salsa and I practice Tai Chi which is very helpful in learning to work with a brush and paint from a vertical position. I am connecting it all through me and onto the canvas.
What message do you convey through your art? What do you want people to take from seeing your art?
The message I am trying to convey is the spark of a question in the viewers to become conscious and ask themselves what role they are playing as the observer and to what degree is what they are observing their own creation.
What does a day in the life of an artist look like from your perspective?
Every day I am trying to observe and take in the experience that is playing out. And when I can I try and make something happen that has been informed by that experience. This can be as simple as asking myself what can I learn when I am sitting in my car at a red light waiting for it to go green.
What makes Cville special for artists of all forms?
The old buildings and houses.
Favorite place in Cville to be creative?
I like to go to the roof of the Water Street parking garage.
Favorite place in Cville to see art?
I like to see the art that is put outside for public observation.
Favorite place in Cville to grab a bite?
Favorite place in Cville to get a drink?
Any other Cville favorites?
What does the not-so-distant future hold for you and your art?
What pieces should we look forward to?
The Mechanics of Consciousness series on bigger canvases.
Lastly… Describe yourself in 10 words or less.
Gold, Leopard, rising, entropy, alone, dreaming, drifting, fire, black star.