Neequaye Dreph Dsane
b. 1973, England

My work has expanded from street paintings to my current focus on my studio practice. My street paintings use spray-paint and brush paint and have evolved from the graffiti characters that I painted on the streets in the 80s and 90s. In the studio I work predominantly with oil-paint on canvas for its versatility as a medium and its rich art historical context. My influences are varied and I’m inspired as much by 80s British sci-fi comics and New York subway art, as I am expressionism or the old masters.

I work towards an honest portrayal of my subjects. I take a realistic approach and pay attention to details; however, I also strive to capture the essence of my sitter and to show their beauty, power and humanity.

My subjects are often drawn from friends, family or those I meet whilst painting in the streets. My work seeks to centre the people within my community and amplify voices. I use my work as a means of celebrating everyday people, unsung heroes and to tell their stories.

I take a collaborative approach during sittings with subjects and use photography and drawings as a starting point for the work. I’m interested in exploring colour, composition and how sartorial choices and personal style are used as a means of communication and to affirm identity.

I am passionate about the cultural and creative exchange that can be shared whilst travelling. Most notably trips to Asia, Africa, Central, South and North America have introduced me to new ways of working, looking at art and engaging audiences.