Very Nearly Almost
Dran… Is Sick
In these crazy days of ‘street art’ it’s so easy for us to forget the roots of this culture: graffiti. Pure graffiti… tags, dubs and pieces. Racking, trains and tracksides. Marker pens and spray paint.
Some graffiti writers still don’t like the idea of graffiti exhibited in galleries, it’s wrong. Graffiti belongs on walls and trains. It’s about getting your name up and not selling out. Others think differently and pursue a career in art alongside their night-time job of being a writer. Either way, it’s up to the individual. Sometimes graffiti really works on canvas and other times I feel the work would be best left where it belongs, sometimes I see a writer and wish they did work on canvas and in print form, but I know they never will.
DMV (Da Mental Vaporz) crew from France certainly manage to pull off both the amazing large-scale street work but also bringing their art into gallery spaces. I could go on and on about DMV but for now I wanted to discuss the art of one its members, namely Dran. An artist who has recently been all over blogs and websites in the UK, with two exhibitions with POW (Pictures on Walls) before Christmas, several print releases and a new book out, Dran has been a busy man of late. So, why?
Well obviously Tristan Manco and others at POW saw something in Dran’s work that they knew worked – and it does. For me the appeal of Dran’s pieces is the aesthetic and the content. Sometimes funny, sometimes a little sad. Sometimes commenting on society, other times he just paints a picture of a bird. The guy’s got that kinda sloppy, gritty, comic book style that really works with both spray paint on brick and paint on canvas.
Artists come and go, but real talent lasts forever. It’s all very well being able to use Illustrator or Photoshop to create your art – don’t get me wrong, some of it is very good – but the ability to draw and draw well straight from the imagination is truly a talent. This is the kind of ‘art’ I like. I don’t care if it’s on a piece of paper or on the side of a train…
At the book launch recently, it was easy to see that this guy is not only pretty talented with a marker pen but also really generous, spending time on each person to leave an original drawing in each book. Check out the video by Butterfly…
All images by Butterfly except ‘Free Speech’, courtesy of POW.