Says Dylan: The preface to Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is a series of aphorisms about art and beauty, including the declaration that “all art is at once surface and symbol.” If all art is at once surface and symbol, I create symbolic surfaces. Through the use of photo-collage and still life, my photographs collapse figure and ground into surface. Drawing from a range of references – my personal life, literature, art, pop culture – and cultural signifiers, these surfaces are loaded with symbols. The viewer is invited to decode these symbols, or at least to try.
The symbols in my images often function as homages to the people and things that I love or admire: LGBTQ-identified creative figures, gay icons, and personal relationships. This series of homages is held together by an aesthetic that strips away any sense of hierarchy among cultural signifiers. In my fabricated spaces, there is no distinction between highbrow and lowbrow, personal or famous, historical or contemporary. Photographs are pulled apart and pieced back together, creating a maze of layered imagery and patterns.
Dylan Everett (b. 1994 in New Jersey) is an artist/photographer based in Providence, RI. He received an MFA in Photography at the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Visual Art from Brown University.