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Art in the City: Local Painter Dylan Schultz

Local Vancouver artist Dylan Schultz was chosen as the featured artist for the upcoming Art in the City show at the West End Community Centre May 1-3, 2009. His painting "Urban Legend" was used in the print campaign for the show. Dylan Schultz's powerful and intriguing works of art stimulate the mind and provoke thought. They are touching, stirring and pertinent. His urban work often evokes a strong emotional response. The paintings are very familiar, and very Vancouver.

Dylan Schultz grew up surrounded by the geographically opposite landscapes of Switzerland and Saskatchewan. These vastly different visual perspectives during his formative years left their influence on the canvas of Dylan's life. Yet, it was not the natural beauty of soaring mountains and low sweeping prairie that most affected his artistic outlook. It was the contrast itself; the disparity; the presence or absence of shape, colour and space; of what is, or is not in view.

Dylan's Urban Landscapes depict scenes of the downtown core, and more specifically, urban lanes. His work shows an appreciation for the spaces that are often ignored. Although devoid of people, the very absence of them invokes the opposite. There is the feeling that perhaps a group of people just turned around the corner, or someone just closed a door.

"Explore the beauty in overlooked urban spaces" says Dylan. "The viewer in my paintings feels like they have been there before. The works are somehow familiar, and very Vancouver" he further explains.

The posts that support the power lines and transformers permeate the city scene. Under-appreciated and often dismissed, they stand strong and proud, and interconnected. Dylan's favourite part of the painting process is when he is focused intently on the blank canvas and letting the imagination surge forward, like electricity through power lines.

Influenced by de Kooning and Mondrian, Dylan also explores the abstract with large acrylic works that express both an emotional and intellectually fragmented inner space. Emotions are washed in layers of paint that vary from cool distant blue grays to aloof yellows which are hung out on the line for the eye to see and appreciate. A relief to the canvas adds depth. Reckless fragmented numbers and bold colours fight for attention. Dylan's abstract work is surprisingly subtle, and intriguing.

You can see more of Dylan Schultz's work at www.dylanschultz.ca.