Find out the interview conducted by lepetitjournal.com with the founder of DRIP’IN, who created an online gallery specializing in publishing street art products for interior design.
DRIP’IN: the adventure of an entrepreneur committed to urban art
Photo: Urban artist Demais working on an art object (ceramic train from the DRIP’IN collection)
A few days before an exceptional art event on HCMV, Dominique Mourey spoke about the human adventure behind his DRIP’IN project, which is dedicated to creating unique art objects in collaboration with various urban artists. Passionate and committed, Dominique has been able to gather around him international urban artists, artisans, NGOs, as well as his family, who has supported him unconditionally since the beginning of his entrepreneurial adventure.
Before becoming an urban art curator, your career path had little to do with art. Can you tell us about this path and the motivations that led you to set up DRIP’IN?
I spent 28 years working in the luxury, decorative objects, lighting, ready-to-wear and textile industries. I have held the positions of quality and production manager, industrial management and general management of sites and offices, in France and abroad.
I have always been a member of the board of directors of the company.
I have always been a fan of urban art. It is the largest contemporary art movement internationally. Beyond the artistic aspect, urban art is a social act that helps to beautify cities that are increasingly concreted. Yet, urban artists are still considered vandals!
DRIP’IN was born out of personal frustration. Urban art is ephemeral; you can’t take it home. However, when a wall piece is masterful and touches you deeply, you want to be able to keep it over time. I have never found the same emotion with photographs of murals or merchandise sold by artists..
My desire was to have a rendering similar to that of the street. And that the works retain their power and authenticity – artistic and emotional – despite being reduced in size. I used my experience in product manufacturing, taking into account the characteristics of the artists and the choice of materials, in order to give the right “resonance” to the art object created.
Tell us more about DRIP’IN: how did you develop your project? Urban art being a street art, how did you convince artists to follow you in this adventure?
DRIP’IN aims to support and enhance urban artists, in terms of visibility and financially. So we had to start by discussing it with the artists themselves. Céz Art, a French artist from Reims, was the first one to whom I exposed my project, three years ago. He instantly answered present and trusted me. Afterwards, I found this enthusiasm in all the urban artists to whom I proposed to collaborate.
The most complex part is product development. With my knowledge of over 500 manufacturing processes, I know what is possible…but then you have to experiment! For example, the ceramic wagon took two years to develop. We had to test no less than 12 different suppliers to find the best rendering for this object..
Generally, the manufacturing process takes between four and six months, from discussion with the artists to the release of the piece. Metal lithographs require several months of testing, just for printing. In addition, it is necessary to carry out tests of colors, in order to restore in the best way the work of the artist. This requires close collaboration with the artists and a technical understanding of the match between man and machine..
Beyond your artistic collaborations, can you tell us more about the human aspect of your project?
It’s a beautiful human adventure! Even the suppliers and craftsmen were enthusiastic about the project and the technical difficulties. Going back to the development of the wagon, one of our partners even recalled retired workers. Indeed, only the “old-timers” had mastered the viscosity sought for the ceramic.
The essence of DRIP’IN is artists, associations and people committed to the recognition of artists. We have met and exchanged with people from a wide range of backgrounds, such as culture or industry. There are still bridges to be built between them, but this is also what DRIP’IN is for: to generate common interest.
DRIP’IN also has a social vocation. For each piece purchased, a portion is donated to an association chosen by the artist or, by default, to Emmaüs Solidarity. All of these associations resonate with the street. The goal is to “close the loop” in a virtuous circle, since the artists work in the street and are close to the people who live there.
Finally, the DRIP’IN adventure has of course shaken up our family unit. But, I am fortunately supported in this project by my wife and children, and everyone participates. I often take the children to meet the artists, to see them work, to understand what motivates them. The children are also introduced to spray painting and discover the richness of this art. It is an opening that is certainly enriching for all.
DRIP’IN was launched very recently, on October 9, 2020, with the exhibition of your first collection of artworks at the N21 restaurant in HCMV. What has happened since and what are your ambitions for the future?
Our first success is that sales are starting to fall, in Asia and Europe. What is noteworthy is that Vietnamese customers have also bought parts. Beyond the commercial aspect, this attests to the universality of this art. This reinforces DRIP’IN’s primary ambition, which is to raise awareness of urban art.
In the longer term, we have two ambitions. The first is to help artists by creating a DRIP’IN studio. They often have a lot of ideas, but don’t know who to turn to for execution. So we want to help them in the development and co-create unique pieces with the artists. The second one is social and will be developed in partnership with Emmaüs. We want urban artists to come and paint in the centers that house homeless people.
In that vein, we’re hosting a outstanding event on Saturday, November 14 at HCMV. International and local urban artists have been given a house in District 2 as their playground. The doors will be open in a unique evening, which has the main goal of raising funds for the association Dust of Life (Editor’s note: translation of a Vietnamese phrase describing street children). Expect lots of surprises: live urban art pieces, video mapping, a dance performance, music, etc.
In order to give our readers a taste of urban art, can you name some of your favorite artists?
It’s hard to choose, there are so many!
I have a soft spot for Kobra, a Brazilian artist committed to the defense of Native American communities and the environment. I also really like D*FACE, who paints these women inspired by American cultural icons, adding a life and death aspect. Of course, we can’t forget Banksy, for the beauty of his message. He is a very committed artist, who has notably painted the famous murals in Palestinian territory.
And, above all, we must not forget the female artists, who have a different sensitivity, a different poetry. In France, I love Miss Tic for the shock of words and her wall works made with a stencil technique, always perfectly chosen to accompany her message. There is also Miss Van, another initiator of the female movement in urban art. In Asia, I’m proud to work with Bao, who is a rising artist in Hong Kong. With manga inspiration, this little piece of a woman fights against the rules of a strict, macho society.
INTERVIEW published on November 11, 2020