Walking the streets of Athens, one encounters many different graffiti styles: from badly written declarations of everlasting devotion to a sports team or political leaning, to sworn love confessions and small stencils. Sadly, it seems that everyone qualifies as a graffiti “artist”, given that they have enough money to buy a marker or spray paint. Few emerge from this scene displaying a distinctive style and adorning athenian walls with something that truly makes our city more beautiful. One of the exceptions is Dreyk the Pirate.
Dreyk started painting the streets of Athens 13 years ago in his early teens. A few years later, he started forming his ever recognizable sea-themed style. Influenced by his studies in design, amongst other things, he evolved to a more clean cut-thick stroke style as years went by. Why the sea? Well, almost all greeks have a deep love for the sea and travel, and Dreyk is no exception. In his case though, as it usually happens, it all started by accident. Painting his first pirate on a wall many years ago, people started calling him “pirate”, a fact that helped him find his own identity in street art. (continued below)
Often using only blue and white paint, Dreyk creates a beautiful intersection of greek tradition and contemporary creativity, inviting athenians passing by to his dream world, directly evoking emotions of innocence and restlessness – ultimately stating that life, love, Athens – it’s all beautiful, it’s all simple. These virtues are thriving not only in Dreyk’s graffiti work, but in his work as an illustrator / visual designer as well. Indeed, even though he has managed to become well known from a very early age (working as a graffiti artist for athenian clubs and hotels), he prefers to remain a “pirate” as far as graffiti is concerned. It’s a part of him that will always be his hobby and not his profession – he makes his living working successfully in the publishing field.
Nevertheless, Dreyk is a restless artist that is interested in exploring the wide spectrum of art forms. He is happy to undertake any material and use it as a means to express himself – from canvases to polymer clay, from vector to pencil sketches. Having already conquered all of the above, he looks forward to the next direction for his work.
We recently had the pleasure of following Dreyk around in Athens, and watched him create a piece in a quiet alley downtown. This is what he came up with: