A look into “The Effects of Unexplained Phenomena” art exhibit

Story by Eric Carlson

Prepare to be stupefied: David Mylin’s art exhibit “The Effects of Unexplained Phenomena” features countless strange, bizarre and uncanny figures. All of these creations are more than just creatures, they are expressions of anger and frustration he has dealt with.

The artist reception was held Tuesday, Feb. 12, where Mylin explained himself as much as he explained his art to the attendees. This was a great opportunity to learn more about the artist and what makes him tick.

“Getting the background on him made me understand him more,” said student Lilith Pendergast, who also described his work as “organized madness.”

The exhibition contained an impressive amount of surreal humanoid drawings along with a series of metal sculptures, both large and small. “You wouldn’t want to put these sculptures in the corner of your room, but you’d want to put them somewhere you could still look at them,” said Eric Geshka, a student at Clackamas Community College.

The mystery of Mylin’s work doesn’t stop at the outside appearance, a few of his sculptures are hiding more than just meaning. His sculpture “The Imp” comes equipped with a hat that can be unscrewed, perfect for “hiding one’s stash,” Mylin explained. The mask of the sculpture “Celestial” can also be taken off to reveal a weathered face.

These sculptures are not crafted with your standard metal, they are actually crafted from metal Mylin scrounged himself.

“I don’t buy any metal,” Mylin said. “It’s all reclaimed.”

Whether it’s someone’s tossed out filing cabinets or his old washing machine, they become art once in the hands of Mylin.

His largest sculpture “Gregariousness” features a man who appears to be coming apart at the seams. Interestingly, in the process of creating this piece Mylin forgot about a beer he had set down in Gregarious’ skeletal frame and sealed it up inside, so when he flipped the great beast over to continue working on it, to his surprise, “It started seeping beer from its chest.” Mylin said, as though it was truly coming apart at its metal seams.

This is his third official collection of works and the only one still living today. His first collection was destroyed by his father and his second collection was lost in a fire. As a child, things were tough for Mylin living in a culture that didn’t accept his creative individual identity he felt very troubled “not getting enough pats on the back” as he lightly puts it.

Mylin does not use references for his works, drawing them instead from the inner workings of his mind.

“Most of these drawings are how I feel rather than a particular thing,” Mylin said. His inspiration to start working with metal came from seeing a sculpture crafted strictly from old car bumpers. Mylin also said that he gets a great deal of inspiration from music and the way sounds can make a person feel.

“The Effects Of Unexplained Phenomena” will be available to see 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Niemeyer Center on CCC’s Oregon City campus until March 22 and is free to the public.