Street artist Dran reinterprets history in this swirling painting.
Dran (b. 1980), Starry Night in the South West of France, 2011, mixed media on canvas, 60 x 73 cm/23.62 x 28.74 in.
It is impossible not to see a direct reference to Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night in this work by Dran, born 1980 in Toulouse. Van Gogh said, “Now I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me that the night is even more richly colored than the day.” An illustrator and graffiti artist, Dran drew inspiration from the work Van Gogh painted in June 1889 while going through a difficult time. He painted the same sky dotted by colorful stars but added a lively camp. Dran mixes candor and provocation, sometimes taking up the themes of yesterday’s great masters—Munch's The Scream, for example. His techniques are multiple and he is considered a free spirit in the already codified landscape of urban art.
The 2011 painting fetched €158,600, a world record for the artist (source: Artnet).
At the same sale, he obtained €57,200 for Bla bla bla bla (117 x 81 cm/46.06 x 31.88 in), featuring a Pinocchio-like figure trying to extricate himself from dozens of babbling ants—perhaps to escape a chattering society in order to find some peace and quiet?