It all started with DW Chase.
I wanted to do an issue celebrating the work of photographer Ev Dylan and the first photo I ever saw of his was one of DW, which is one of the reasons he was chosen as the cover model. The image I’m referencing has an iconic feel to it, for me, full of energy and power, but more importantly, it is unlike the bulk of those that I have seen over the years. He stands, barefoot, clad only in red shorts, slightly squatted, arms at his sides with palms open in the midst of a primal yell. It is a character shot, but there is an undeniable sexiness that leaps off the screen. It remains one of my favorite shots and instantly made me want to see more work by the photographer.
When I think of Ev Dylan, I envision youth, beauty, realness and passion. Each of these is evident throughout his incredible body of work. Like other great artists he has fashioned a recognizable style that is at once appealing and endearing. It is a style that draws models to his portfolio and many of them count Ev amongst their wish list of photographers to work with. He doesn’t not settle for hampering his work by constantly posing his subjects against mere backdrops, he includes scenic elements such as windows, stoves, beds and even the floor to enhance the overall emotion. The results show the models as part of the scene and not mere stoic mannequins in typical poses.
Art can be a solitary adventure, even though photographers shoot subjects, and the connection every artist has with his work becomes apparent though the production of consistently great images. That kind of discipline takes a deep level of commitment, time, and the willingness to submerge yourself in your creations. Clearly, Ev lets his work do most of the talking for him, but he did reserve some time to answer some questions regarding his life, his photography and his book “LUST”.
BLISS: You are based in Texas, according to your Model Mayhem profile. Is this your home state?
EV DYLAN: Texas is my base camp, I travel quite a bit, but this is home.
B: What is it about Texas that appeals to you?
ED: It’s a diverse state with something for everyone.
B: If you could pick one place, other than where you are, anywhere in the world to live, where would that be?
ED: Western Australia, it’s the new Texas down under.
B: What was your childhood like?
ED: Lots of art, music, good food and interesting people.
B: Were you outgoing in your youth, shy and introverted or somewhere in between?
ED: I was pretty shy in public but very chatty with friends.
B: Many artists say that inspiration came early, even if it wasn’t necessarily in the medium that they currently work. Were you artistic as a child?
ED: I loved to draw, but when I picked up a camera at 13, I knew that was my tool.
B: Every child expresses his budding talents in different ways. How did yours manifest?
ED: Loved taking pics and love art class.
B: Were you encouraged to indulge your creative side, or steered towards a more traditional route?
ED: I did both, why limit yourself?
B: Are you an only child or do you have siblings? If so, do any other members of your family have artistic leanings?
ED: I have a few brothers.
B: What is your fondest memory of youth?
ED: Can't pick just one, I had a good childhood.
B: When I was around 10 years old, I was fascinated by animals, especially birds, and a neighbor took me to the zoo with her, which was my first time being there without my family. It had a profound effect on me and shaped my fascination with animals. Do you remember any incident that helped to mold you into the man you are today?
ED: Being around art and artists definitely had an effect on me... and having music playing all of the time.
B: The world changes so rapidly these days, with technology constantly adding so many new dimensions. Is there anything about the past that you wish still existed in today’s world?
ED: I miss hand written letters and notes.
B: Do you have any idols?
ED: Bob Dylan, Robert Redford, Mother Teresa.
B: What about romantic relationships? Is it harder to commit fully when you’re so invested in your art?
ED: No, love is epic that should be the focus.
B: Your work is very sensual. How were sex and sexuality addressed in your home, if at all and when did you first become aware of them?
ED: Being exposed to art means you get exposed to sexuality.
B: How, if at all, has your personal life influenced your art?
ED: I connect with some of my models, thus it’s more about the art to a point where i dont care if anyone ever sees the work other than the two of us.
B: What are the things that you value the most in your life?
ED: relationships with the people in my life are the most important.
B: When it comes to self perception each of us can sometimes be at odds with how those around us view us. In what ways would you assume people would describe you that are at odds with who you think you really are?
ED: I'm not sure. Most strangers think my intentions may not be an innocent as they usually are.
B: In that vein, can you tell me 5 things about yourself that even those closest to you would be surprised to know?
ED: Those close to me know me, so other than minor things, I can’t think of any.
B: Is there anything that you’ve always wanted to try but have not yet done?
ED: Learn to fly.
B: On the other side, have you ever experienced anything in life that you never want to try again?
ED: Breathing in chlorine gas.
B: Do you have a personal philosophy of life, and if so, what is it?
ED: The common, "treat others as you with to be treated"
B: If you were not a photographer, what would you be doing instead?
ED: Be a painter (just not a very good one), or perhaps a song writer.
B: What is the best lesson you’ve learned about life so far?
ED: You can, if you wish to, make a significant positive impact on others.
©2011 – Sean Dibble