NARRAGANSETT - Rhode Island natives and best friends Gamo, Smut Villain and Evoker returned to the OneWay Gallery Narragansett on Saturday to present their progression as artists over the past 20 years.
In the exhibit, The DWS Retrospective: 20 Years of Artwork & Best Buddy Stuff, the artists have collaborated their life experiences and their own personal styles that have developed throughout the years.
Although they go by the aliases of Gamo, Smut Villian and Evoker, the town of Narragansett might know them as Jeremy Myles, Tim Sullivan and Ryan Robidoux.
Robidoux said that there are multiple meanings for the title “DWS” but they tend to keep them a secret between friends.
The three artists met in the mid 1990s and quickly discovered that they shared a lot in common. Myles and Sullivan met when they attended Narragansett High School together, and then connected with Robidoux who attended South Kingstown High School when he was working at a local skate shop.
“Ryan kind of got me into art and I didn’t realize for a long time that Tim was also a painter until I saw him painting at his house one day, and then we decided to paint together,” said Myles. “Then around 2000 we all moved in together and we had a lot of fun, basically all we did was just painted constantly and drank beer, you know the typical early 20s house.”
The One way gallery was one of the first galleries the artists displayed their work at around 2004, so that is one of the main reasons they wanted to return to the gallery and update the town on what they have been doing.
The artists describe their style as “cartoony.” Their main influences, other than each other, include old cartoons, sign paintings, and album art. Even though they do admit they heavily influence each other, the artists said that they each have their own distinct style.
“Me and Tim seem to be pretty similar but I think that’s from living together and drawing together all of the time, even looking at our art right now I didn’t even realize we were using the same colors,” said Robidoux. “I mean that happens when you live together, but now we have been apart for a long time, and our own styles definitely show.”
Myles said that he mainly focuses on photography and would like to continue his focus on street photography.
“We both do photography, but I don’t take it as seriously as I do for other art,” said Sullivan. “I look at it as is this art or is it funny stuff. I would rather have pictures of someone doing a hand stand drinking a beer. But Jeremy is a pretty well-known street photographer in New York.”
When the artists were asked how this show differed from the first show they all simultaneously looked at each other, laughed, and responded, “We are way better.”
“We have all been painting for ten more years so our technical level is so much better and we each have experienced a lot that has helped us influence each other and just get better at what we have been doing,” said Myles.“I mean 10 years is a long time, and has made a big difference.”
Sullivan and Myles currently live in New York and work together creating art for commercials and music videos. Robidoux is now living in South Kingstown but has spent the last 10 years in Boston and North Carolina.
“I would say that is how our work now is different because we do so much work related stuff for a living so I think we have definitely incorporated some of those techniques into this show,” said Myles. “We started working with different materials and that also makes a difference.”
During the years that they have been apart, the artists have still managed to stay connected through e-mails and phone calls, keeping each other updated with their sketches and lives.
“The show was really a good excuse to have my best friends come and spend the weekend with them,” said Robidoux. “We don’t really get time like this to spend with each other and just paint and hang out.”
According to the artists, the main purpose of the exhibit is to have fun and reunite with everyone that they have met over the years.
“We don’t take ourselves very seriously and we really just do this to have fun,” said Sullivan.
As for the future, each artist has their own goals for the future. Sullivan said that he would like to “find a box of money.” Robidoux said he has been trying to create bigger murals and continue to show his technique as an artist. Myles would like to pursue his love for street photography and become a professional photographer full time.
The DWS Retrospective show will be on display at the gallery, 140 Boon St., for the month of August. You can check out the individual work of the artists on their websites, Clamsrockefeller.tumblr.com, Smutvillian.blogspot.com, and www.evokerone.com .