Inspiration comes in many ways. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can just be sat, talking about the most mundane of subjects, and suddenly I will be struck by either a word, or something going on around me, which ignites the spark. Other times it can come about from prominent people and the actions they take, and often it comes from unsung heros and their strive to enhance either others lives or their environment.
Neequaye Dreph Dsane is a Ghanaian artist who is based in London. He has a street art based career which has spanned over 30 years, and is considered a stable of the community. His work is large scale and glorious. Influences for Dreph’s work are varied, drawing from comics to Caravaggio.
I cannot tell you exactly how amazing it is to stand in front of one of Dreph’s creations. It fills you with a sense of wonderment. During my flying tour of street art around Shoreditch and Whitechapel, I had the pleasure of seeing two of Dreph’s pieces up close and personal, and they hold the same viewing experience (for me at least) as seeing any one of the classic masters.
The first was a portrait of Myvanwy (you can see my photo of this as the feature image for this post), and she is beautiful. Off the beaten track on a garage door in a small car park is where she resides. Her expression is wonderfully captured, giving a soft enigmatic smile and friendly eyes. As you stand in front of Myvanwy you can feel a warmth coming from her.
You can certainly see the echoes of Caravaggio’s work in these portraits with dramatic lighting catching across the face and the lack of activity in the background, rather an ethereal blue surrounds the image giving an air of dreamscape.
The second piece is Tracy.
She is on Fashion Street should you want to see this magnificent piece. Again we see the dream like blue background which feels inspirational. The different lights highlighting the side of her neck and cheek from one side and a warmer light illuminating her face. Once again, her expression is captured in minute detail. Her eyes looking upwards and almost a look of determination. What I love about this one is how the brick work brings a different element to the painting, giving an unnatural texture to a portrait, but it works so well.
These two works are part of the “You Are Enough” series which was created to celebrate friends of Dreph and the amazing things that they are doing within the community. It is a tribute to unsung heros and something which can truly be admired as you stroll past.
Dreph’s work can be seen throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and America and each piece is larger than life and filled with a passion and emotion which my photos just don’t do justice to.
If you want to find out more about this amazing artist, learn about the backstories to his work, or simply want to look at his astounding pictures, click here.
What do you think of these portraits? Why not tell me in the comments? Like this post? Why not share it?