Darel Carey

The tricks a line can do. A line can be a horizon. A line can be a path. A line can be carved in stone, or sand, or into dust on a window.

Many lines together, however, can change reality. Lines move you mentally and physically. Lines together can create true illusions – New Dimensions. Something is moving in a static image, how can this be? 

I’ve seen an artist that can pull you into these other dimensions by creating such lines. His name is Darel Carey. He has been Dimensionalizing indoor and outdoor areas in L.A., Toronto and even recently in Munich.  He uses rolls of black tape and sometimes paint to create these illusions.  I was psyched when he took time to let us know more about him and how he works.

Pete: What are your favorite surfaces to adhere to?

Darel: Smooth, hard surfaces are the best. The smoother, the better. And Glass and metal are quite nice.

Pete: How long do your Installations last?

Darel: It totally depends on what I’m trying to do. My tape installations were initially temporary. They would be up for as little as several hours, up to a few weeks. They lived on through images and time-lapse videos. More recently I’ve been making installations that last longer, up to several years. I also use paint which is even more permanent.

Working with just one color, have you ever had to stave off the feeling of repetition?

I don’t feel like I need to worry about repetition. My art, by it’s nature, is repetitive.

Although, each installation is different and organically formed.  As I create more installations I refine my techniques.  So, there is always more to learn, more to explore and more to experience. Once I feel ready, I will explore other ways to create. I’ve got a lot of notes and ideas!

Is there a lot of planning that goes into making the multi-angle/multi-color 3D pieces?

It depends on the situation. My tape installations and line work split off into two categories; Those that require little to no planning and those that need some forethought.

The difference depends on whether I’m dimensionalizing a flat plane (a 2D space), or a 3-dimensional area. The 2D space can be organically done. I just start myself out with general rules about distance between lines and length of lines and use that as guidance for the process. When I’m looking to portray volume from specific vantage points, I have to look at the space a bit longer and step back many times during the process of the installation.

Your application looks more freestyle in some of your videos. How much mathematics would you say is involved with your work and how much is freestyle?

As I mentioned earlier, my work is mostly organic and freestyle. And the only mathematics involved is naturally applied.

M.C. Escher is an obvious influence that loved showing people there is more than meets the eye. Can you tell us what you love most about creating art that engages the viewer and draws them to look closer instead of merely glancing and moving on?

Yes, I agree completely. That is what fascinates me about his work. I love being able to create similar responses with my art. Causing someone to to look further and be intrigued. It’s rewarding, because I want people to think – to realize the limits of our perception and to look at things from multiple perspectives.

By looking at things and ideas from multiple perspectives, you will, by definition, have a better understanding of that thing or idea.

My favorite works of yours are the hallways and big walls. They do a good job of making you feel uneasy and tripped out. Do you ever have people approach your art with ‘sea legs’, so to speak?

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoy them. Yes, the large installations tend to envelop you. There’s a ‘vibration’ that is experienced with my installations in-person. That’s why I like to refer to them as something to be experienced vs looked at.

And yes, every now and then, someone comes by and tells me they are dizzy or they would hate to be drunk in the room or something similar. But most people react positively to my work.

Although, I like it when people say they lose their orientation in the space.  Because it lets me know that my dimensional lines are doing their job and giving the mind and eye something to ponder.

I bet you created the best mazes as a kid! What was art to you while growing up?

Haha, I did doodle maze-like lines but never actual mazes. Growing up, I found that I was good at realism. I used to draw still life, birds of prey and faces really well. I would also draw my favorite cartoon and video game characters. I thought that being able to draw realistically was paramount to being a good visual artist.

Although I know there are many facets of art, some of which have nothing to do with realism, I do still harbor remnants of that idea. Because the abilities that helped me draw realistically are the same abilities that help me create any other type of art well.

If you can’t render what you see in the world accurately,

how can you render what you imagine accurately?  -Darel Carey


You have great skill in perspective and I believe that is the key element in displaying an illusion.  The viewer has to trust the perspective of the artist. Would you agree?

Thank you. I’ve found that I have strengths in perspective and spatial orientation. Yes, I do think when creating illusions, the artist is required to guide the viewer into the illusion. However, the viewer will ultimately see things from their own perspective, so the artist needs to take that into account while creating. Which in a way, is trusting the perspective of the viewer. So, it goes both ways in my opinion.

What are your travel goals, and will you be bringing your lines with you?

Yes, I want to travel and see the world. Whenever and wherever I have the opportunity – I will bring my lines!

Have you thought about doing full buildings or any larger spaces?

Yes, I am definitely interested in doing larger installations and full buildings…etc. Some of these kinds of projects require different mediums. Hopefully, I will have some of these larger opportunities in the near future.


Darel will be part of a group show “Dichotomy” at Mind & Mill in Riverside, CA Aug 4th.
More info to come on his Instagram.

Check out his redesigned website for more pics and videos!

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