"I did the same old thing for such a long time," he says. "Now, I do only the unique."
The "same old thing" to which Dyer refers is what he calls "stand-up-on-a-base pieces for one's décor." But the decorative slabs of stone destined for people's living rooms just weren't doing it for the artist.
Examples of the unique, inspired works of the "new" Dyer are on display through April 30 at Fyrplace Gallery in Lake Worth, where viewers can check out stone sculptures like Hula Hoop on a Moon Rock, an abstract form carved from Afghan and Persian onyx and encircled by a bronze hoop. The 29-inch-tall Turning Point, carved from translucent Italian alabaster, is a narrow abstract piece the fluid lines of which suggest a dancer in motion.
The 14 pieces in the show range in price from a couple hundred to nearly 3000 dollars, but they represent just a speck of the 66-year-old artist's output -- an estimated 3500 pieces up to the point when he quit counting a few years back. And Dyer's work itself is just one extension of his uniqueness.
The most outward example is the location of his studio/gallery, which occupies a Boynton Beach industrial park. Art is now the primary industry in the warehouse buildings and even along the road outside. Two doors down from Dyer's space is the studio and gallery of Rick Beau Lieu, whose massive metal sculptures adorn both the interior (along with his paintings and paintings of other artists, local and national) and the exterior. Notable outside is the 40-foot, 15,000-pound abstract sculpture that took two years to complete with the help of Dyer and Pat Stone, whose stone-sculpture studio, gallery, school, and materials-and-supplies store is just down the road.
The three sculptors -- with the help of their landlord, public art grants, and other artists in the Palm Beach County area (including schoolkids) -- have turned the formerly blighted area into an outdoor museum that is open to the public. Even a group of rusting bulldozers now functions (beautifully) as a row of easels with paintings propped against their deteriorating hulks.
Created in 1987 and always evolving, the outdoor art space -- which fronts the bays of the warehouses and garages where Dyer and Beau Lieu sculpt -- features thousands of decorative plants in landscaped beds where discarded refrigerators, abandoned cars, and tons of rubbish once made for quite an eyesore. The beautified place also now boasts 60 works of art, some of which are for sale. It's a wonderfully eclectic collection, including a surprisingly realistic painting by Dyer of colorful mushrooms on a chartreuse-green background. Elsewhere letters cut into a flat metal sculpture spell out Mercy Justice Love.
The project has so inspired industrial park neighbors that the owner of a nearby air conditioning business even got in on the art act. That's his sculpture of a robust cactus made out of scrapped car bumpers.