Dran is an up-and-coming French artist, sometimes described as the “French Bansky”. He is indeed a protégé of the British street painter; Bansky invited him to show at the influential 2010 Marks and Stencils show in London.
Like his British counterpart, Dran uses winsome cartoon imagery mixed with a sly, cynical humour to critique modern society. Yet, his style is uniquely his own – typified by the recurring use of small-scale endearing characters with innocent outsized heads and tiny arms.
These charming figures (often children wielding crayons) are engaged in a bewildering array of absurd activities from painting graffiti themselves to defacing famous works of art, to blowing up a sex doll.
Dran confuses boundaries of attraction and repulsion / innocence and perversion—exploring ideas of artistic expression and social isolation.
He was born and trained in the southern French city of Toulouse, where he still creates much of his work. Although he studied at the local arts school, his work comes out of the city’s graffiti culture. He often accompanied fellow Toulouse aerosol artists Miss Van and Fafi. All three are known for their colourful, cartoon style and cunning detail.
Dran now also uses traditional paint media and photography, and has published seven illustrated books which have become cult collector’s items.