Neequaye Dreph Dsane was born in Nottingham in 1973. He is a versatile visual artist working across a wide range of media. With a focus on portraiture, he is best known for his large-scale murals and oil paintings. His portraits and their accompanying backstories present an alternative narrative, a tribute to living unsung heroes and heroines. His works are arresting and beautifully drafted, with an honesty and depth of emotion that bring his subjects to life. With an Art, Design and Media degree, he is influenced, as much by is comic books and New York subway art as he is the old masters. After 3 decades of street based painting, Dreph is widely regarded as a stalwart of the scene and has painted in Asia, Africa, the UAE, Central and South America and throughout Europe. He is currently working on ‘Migration’, a national series of paintings exploring the human stories of those who have travelled from abroad and made the UK their home. Dreph is a former secondary school art teacher with extensive experience working with young people with special education needs and disabilities and those with diverse social and emotional needs. Dreph lives and works in London.
I am a visual artist creating large scale street paintings, oil portraits and printmaking. I am interested in how contemporary portraiture, can be used to present alternative narratives. My subjects are for the most part everyday people, unsung heroes and heroines whose triumphs I seek to highlight, represent and pay tribute to. I want to make meaningful work and the challenge is to reflect these stories; with an honesty and depth of emotion that reflects the humanity of those I paint. My approach to painting is inspired by the use of lighting and drama by old masters such as Caravaggio and Rembrandt. I also draw on the energy of contemporary forms of art including New York subway Art and 80′s British underground comics such as 2000 AD and Tank Girl. Ultimately my practice is a clash of classical and contemporary art aesthetics, resonating with audiences who have little or no knowledge of the history of art. My work is ephemeral as my paintings will usually be found on street walls. I choose to do this because I am motivated by the democratization of art with regards to the reclaiming of our public spaces, and also opening new audiences to enjoy and critique the work.