Degree: Fine Art
University: Leeds University
Graduation Year: 2020
Eclectic, eye-catching and vibrant, Draco’s work is a representation of the artist’s everyday thoughts and experiences. Finding inspiration in music of all genres and his desire to capture moments and their layer, his work may sometimes seem confusing. However, with different textures, layers, forms and structures his art is compelling – especially as he’s not afraid of using unconventional materials like alcohol or blueberries. Despite being very embedded in his own perception of the world, his art has a universality and is open to interpretation. This is seen no more clearly than in his work where there are direct references to pop culture with cartoon characters and easily recognisable imagery. With bright colours as a key component, and a mixture of the abstract and the hyper realistic, his art leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.
My mixed media paintings investigate the effects of daily life and the palimpsestic nature of memory through imagery developed around my experiences. Daily life is a reoccurring motif that drives my artwork. Being a digital native and growing up in part of a generation bombarded with imagery throughout society, as a way of communication, allowed me to familiarise myself in a culture which speaks through visual language. This combined with the rapid advancements of technology, made infinite imagery available. Daily life for me is the purest form of inspiration that I draw from, as its experiences are continuous and constantly refreshing. Thus, this is the foundation of what my painting subject matter consists of through the form of eclectic imagery. Another heavily influential aspect of my practice is music. I listen to an extensive amount of jazz, blues and Hip-Hop which is created through a compilation of individual components that are brought together in a composition to make a sound which can evoke emotion. I build up the configurations of my painting’s in a similar manner. Composition plays a crucial role in my artwork to achieve an aesthetic value strong enough to attract the attention of the viewer. Artistically, what I gain from music is purely abstract. Music opens a channel of thought which allows me to process imaginatively and translates on to my canvas as physical improvisation with the material and the intuitive decision making when building up layers to create depth. Part of the process consists of accidental happenings that give character to the work and make it engaging and relatable. Ultimately, we are interested in our own lives, other people’s lives are just a curiosity which fails to have the same cogency. This leaves me with the challenge to keep the viewer interested in the paintings through a composition intriguing enough in form, visual context, and technique to hold their attention and encourage them to analyse them further. My paintings are accumulating layers of vibrant colours painted and sanded back to create texture which allows for the innocuous imagery in the foreground to pop. The allegorical components of imagery created through a variety of mediums and techniques (acrylic and spray paint, pastel, screen printing and found objects) are held together through composition. I enjoy pushing my boundaries of the technical aspects of skills required in my painting. Whilst these paintings reflect experiences of my daily life it must be understood that the spectator will undoubtedly draw upon their own associations when analysing the work. Comprehending my personal trace of truth within the images is not a necessity when observing the paintings. The nature of the paintings in themselves encourage the viewer to construct some understanding through imagery which aims to trigger pre-conscious memories which in turn prompts their own personal associations.