When we were first introduced to Darel Carey’s monochromatic tape installations, we were mesmerised!
Darel’s work includes dimensional line drawings and immersive tape installations. Optical and spatial perception are his main focus; he uses lines to shape and bend the perceived dimensions of a surface or a space.
Earlier this year, Darel was recently in Bintan, Indonesia to add one of his incredible creations to the walls at The Sanchaya. We managed to catch up with him whilst he was in Singapore…
V&VPR: We LOVE your work! What inspired you initially to work with tape as your art form, and how has your style changed over time?
Darel: Thank you! Tape for me is a versatile medium I discovered while at Mending Otis College. Artists typically use tape as a means to an end, either to mask straight lines for paint, or for marking areas temporarily. While working with tape on a background grid for a group show, it dawned on me to use tape as a medium in itself, to traverse multiple surfaces and create immersive experiences. My style has gradually become more refined. I used to lay down lines without fully knowing how they would interact. The more pieces I create, the more familiar I become with the organic process, and how it affects the experience of the viewer.
V&VPR: You have quite a strong Instagram following – how has Instagram been instrumental in your success?
Darel: Using Instagram has enabled me to present my art to a worldwide audience, which led to many opportunities. Most of the people I’ve worked with found me on social media or online somewhere.
V&VPR: Do you believe social media also has its downsides when it comes to the world of art? Have you found that people copy your style, and do you think Instagram impacts the ability to be original?
Darel: Social media does indeed have its downsides. More people see more things from more and more other people. That can be negative in the world of art when it comes to copying or stealing styles or other intellectual property. I do see some of that, some copying and stealing, which I think is an unavoidable problem. The more people are copying, the less they are being original. My approach to this is to keep evolving in my art and philosophy, to keep refining my aesthetic and understanding, and to focus on my strengths. Pushing oneself to keep evolving is key to being original. Adapting quickly to new environments, like social media, will help you advance and stay original. What’s new is constantly changing.
V&VPR: You travel a lot with your work – having recently been at The Sanchaya – do you find that new cultures and places influence your style?
Darel: Every time I see and experience something new, I try to soak up some inspiration from it, and expand my horizon, especially while traveling. It may be a pattern I see in architecture, or intricacies in plants I’ve never seen, or nuances in social etiquette. At The Sanchaya, I experienced, and my art became part of, a juxtaposition of different styles from different times and places. I really enjoyed the colonial interiors and the Asian influence in architecture, surrounded by vegetation, all in front of the aqua-coloured coast, on the Northside of Bintan, Indonesia.
V&VPR: What’s next for you?
Darel: I have a few things going on in the coming months. I’m part of a group show at the Millard Sheets Art Center in Pomona, CA, on view until early November. I’ll be in New York soon to create a temporary installation at a tech conference, and shortly after I’ll be painting a mural in a residence lobby in Cambridge, MA. In the bigger picture, I want to expand and try new things, perhaps in the sculptural or digital realm. I also like to write, so maybe that will manifest in some way. I’m just happy to be creating, and grateful for the opportunities to do so!