Affordable Art Fair Artist Spotlight: Scott Dykema

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Here at UGallery, we love this time of year. Flowers are blooming, Girl Scouts are testing our New Year’s resolutions and we’re prepping ‘round the clock for our annual pilgrimage to the Affordable Art Fair in New York City. 

Each year we bring a select few artists to exhibit in the UGallery booth. This year we’ve chosen 8 artists, 4 newbies and 4 veterans of AAF. We are very excited for you to get to know them and their work!

First up: Scott Dykema. You can find Scott’s work on UGallery.

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Scott Dykema’s art comes from an endless desire to create. “I have an extreme love of putting something down onto a blank surface, making a commitment to giving it new life and finishing it,” he says. Scott rarely works from a sketch or preconceived idea; his paintings start spontaneously and turn into something he works through over time, like a puzzle. Case in point, his latest Geisha series originally took form as a collection of samurai warriors. The geishas often include bits of plaster, oils, acrylics, enamels, house paint, and metal leaf. “They aren’t about geishas,” Scott says. “They are about the surrounding textures, layers and colors.”

What is your inspiration for the geisha series? 

The geisha series started as a response to working on a body of work where the samurai warrior was the subject. There were several that I painted and then there was one (the last one) that turned into a geisha. I kind of just fell into this as a subject. However, since working with this subject matter I have never felt a need to move to anything else with the exception of a body of abstract works. These works continue to excite me and that is all it takes.

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What is unique about your technique? 

My works always starts as a spontaneous act and then is worked through almost like a puzzle. Sometimes the process starts from inspiration like a color or a texture, or possibly a pattern or maybe just my palette or cart of supplies. Once the work is done, most of the time, I know. The Geishas almost all include some kind of metal leaf which is applied by hand over an adhesive. There are often bits of plaster, oils, acrylics, gesso, enamels and sometimes house paint.  

How large do you paint?

My favorite work to make is on a very large scale. In the future, I would love to make these works on large walls in the homes and offices of people all around the world. Larger surfaces allow for more choices of material manipulation and subject matter and size of subject matter! 

Have you had any memorable responses to your work? 

The most memorable response is always when someone is without words. I love to watch people look at what I make. Sometimes people say “thank you” and that’s also a great response.  A couple times people have cried over commissioned pieces out of an appreciation for something in the work that is within them. Maybe the most memorable response is not the words but the feeling that I get that propels me to keep making art.

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I hear you’re training for ultra-marathons.

I love to run! Running at night is my favorite time to be out on the road. Early morning is the best time to be on trails. Right now I am training for my first 56k race, which is about 35 miles. My longest race prior to this was a marathon on a trail here in Texas. I have a love for the feeling of the rain, the heat, the cold, the snow, the sweat, the mud and the food that comes after it all.

Is there a band or song that you would compare to your work?  

The band Sonic Youth has a sound that is very visual to me. They have a sound that is layered like a painting. I can see colors and texture in the layering of their music. Also, Dengue Fever is a band whose Cambodian singer has such a serene soothing voice. She speaks often in a language that I don’t understand but it doesn’t matter. Her language is about as familiar to me as the true image of the Geisha. The language is not important but the surrounding sound and the feeling are. Geishas are not what the Geisha paintings are about to me. They are about their surrounding essence and all the layers and colors and this is very relative to sound. 

The Affordable Art Fair is held at the Metropolitan Pavilion from March 25 to 29th. Pop by if you’re in New York! (we’re booth 1.2)

You can shop a sneak peek of our Fair Collection here.