Interview – CHRIS DYER
We’re very honoured to kick off our FIRST in an ongoing series of interviews with EN MASSE participants with one of our favourite globe-trotting cats, and one of the first artists who took hand in shaping the EN MASSE experiment back in 2009.
Chris Dyer is a VERY unique artist, marching decidedly to the beat of his own drum. He looks different than most. He talks a different language than most. And then there’s his painting (on nearly any object imaginable); a third-eye exploding blast of mind-bending symbols in electrically dazzling palettes, which completely defies categorization. Skateboarding art, visionary art, outsider art, fine art? None seem to really fit this staggering body of work, and the spirit of adventure, travel, and generosity that Dyer embodies.
Where are you from and where are you now?
I am originally from Lima, Peru and now I am based in Montreal.
What do you do? How do you describe your art practice?
As an artist I do a variety of things. Fine art is my passion, and I love traveling the world putting on exhibitions, but that sells slowly, so I am also a freelancer who can do graphics for a variety of clients. I am also artistic director/brand manager of California’s Creation Skateboards, an industry I’ve been involved with for a decade. I also do street art and can be hired to do murals. But no matter what shape or style my art embodies, it all is unified under the intention of spiritual positivity as a path to raise the vibes of the planet.
When did your practice as an artist begin?
I was born an artist and I have been hyper-creative since I gained any level of consciousness. As a career, it has been going since I graduated from school in 2003.
Why do you feel compelled to create art?
I don’t know if I can find words to describe the spiritual need to express the creative nature of God, which we are as an incarnate soul. Artists just gotta make art, even when it makes no sense or leaves you broke, and those who find intellectual justifications to do this activity might not be doing it from the heart.
What is your proudest accomplishment as an artist?
The art, especially paintings that take me several months to complete. The rest, career successes, are nice for the ego and fuel to keep working hard, but are just details and couldn’t never be more important that the actual art work that pours out of us.
What improvement, alteration or innovation would you most like to see in the arts?
I don’t know, really. I’m already pretty satisfied with doing it and being able to live off it. Sure, we all want more money and platforms to give us more notoriety and wealth, but once again, those are all mundane details. As long as we can find time to create what we must, the “world of art” is almost irrelevant. I guess give me more big walls to crush, ha ha.
Where do you feel the value lies in artistic collaboration?
There is much. The sense of oneness between people who are very different. The crush of the ego, as no matter how dope the piece ends up being, you can never claim it entirely as your own, so you have to learn to share. Learning from your peers. Not being such a loner hermit and playing with your fellow artist friends. Moral support and camaraderie. Ending with an art piece you could never do by yourself and see how that changes you into a better artist and person.
What is next for you?
Well, I am about to leave for two months in Peru. I haven’t been there in eight years or seen my parents for four. I have a solo show in Lima, and I will be painting some walls, but I just wanna travel and relax a bit cause I work pretty hard sometimes and I don’t want to end up being an old man at 40. Then there are some street art festivals I’ve been invited to be part of in 2014, a solo show in Denver, live painting at psychedelic festivals in Ohio and Brazil and who knows what else. Ideally, just some chill time in my Montreal home studio to paint new canvases, skates, listen to records, and watch movies with my wife as we pig out.
To get more informations about Chris Dyer, his work and his upcoming projects, visit
You can also enjoy the full documentary on this visionary skate artist, released on DVD in the spring of 2011