The world of graffiti wouldn’t be complete without the style and persona of DREYE. Years of dedication have made him a key player in the development of this art form. Here he lends his perspective on the growth and progression of graffiti, and it’s impact on street art .
Where did your style originate from?
My style originated from a wide variety of artists starting from Jackson Pollock to Ralph Steadman. From a street art perspective I would say Twister was a major Influence as well as my Crew LTS. Also going to New York in the Summer I was really inspired by TATs Krew and FX and Kaws as well.
And what was your goal?
I never had a goal. I’ve always loved art since I was young. Street art/graffiti was crazy, when I would go to New York everything was crushed from the subways to walls and that’s when I wanted to be part of the movement. Then when coming back to Los Angeles I starting seeing so much evolving around the city. I started to practice characters and letters by going to yards around the city. Seeing so many different styles around the city blew mind, especially places like the Venice Pit, Belmont Tunnels as well as Motor Yard.
Over the years, were you aware of the impact your work was having on future generations?
No, I still don’t really see how it impacts others. I know I’ve influenced a lot of people by seeing my style in there art even though it can’t be done right. I do see that they try to imitate my style. It used to drive me crazy thinking of them as biting my work, but then I started being more positive. I realized that I was influencing so many young and old artist and it started to give me a more positive attitude to push my styles further.
How do you view the change in the game now that painting is more accessible?
I think its a lot easier for this generation to get style’s off the net. Back in the day you had to work hard to create a style, and also if you were a toy you wouldn’t be able to be a part of the muralists or should I say piecers. Also styles wouldn’t be taken so much like today. There was major respect for art around the city unlike today where they diss great paintings and murals thinking its cool or something, Instagram has created a huge group of egotistical artists and honestly kills the old reason where if you worked hard and painted you got a real form of respect. These days these idiots come out of the woodwork and end up in a gallery without doing any of the hard work.
Your crew is synonymous with large, elaborate pieces in high profile areas, how did you feel about this approach?
I thought it was awesome from the perspective of go big or go home.
And how smoothly did missions usually go down?
Well, living in the gang capital of the world it was freaking scary, seriously the cops were the last thing to worry about. At any moment in the inner city you could get shot for even being spotted or seen. Gang members would think you’re a rival gang member seeking retaliation, and they would shoot on site. Then you would have to worry about the cops as well, so really trying to paint something was getting ready to go to war.
Are you aggravated with the occurrence of street art? Or does the saturation spread more light on your side of the spectrum.
I think street art is a bit overrated. Those of us who risked our life’s to do art on the street or did it in a massive scale we’re never appreciated, but some moron who prints a bunch of posters or makes a cheesy stencil gets respect like there so freaking amazing when it’s easier than anything to do and especially at a low risk. But, I would have to say if you have done all element’s of real street art than so be it. Everything builds the portfolio of the movement. In regards to someone like Banksy, he has done all varieties of street art and it’s done highly illegally on high stake spots.
Graffiti culture just took a step forward with the “SCRATCH” exhibit, can you please describe your experience with that?
It’s actually been such a blessing to finally be seen as a actual artist instead of some vandal who tags and scratches their name on peoples’ property for cheap fame.
Thanks to Fishe for his work on it.
Now that a wider variety of art is being recognized, where do you want to see that enthusiasm focused?
I would have to say the artists who deserve it, as well as those with originality, not old art traced or used. I’m so sick of these people thinking they’re artists by copying characters that have already been done.
Is there anybody that particularly guided your development as an artist either stylewise or framed your perspective?
I’d have to say Zes has always made me take it to the limits.
Would you consider drinking or other forms of inebriation to help or hinder the painting process?
Stay sober kids, lol
Where is your work headed?
Longevity is key, who knows what the future will bring.
Special thanks to Sunshine for always shining bright, also Maps One and Sloth, As well as Doobie.