Inspiring Stuff, Part 2: Dragan Pop Art

I’m going to interview Chris, the topic of this Blog, in a future Blog entry and ask what clicked inside him two years ago that he started creating fabulous works of art in his basement.

Often, my Blog is about me and random stuff that excites me, and I guess this is too. I’m excited to see a guy who is supposed-to-be calmly drifting into middle-age but instead decides there’s more to him. Personally, it inspires me, because many, many times I feel like throwing in the towel on writing (and trying to finish my book) because my brain asks me, “who cares?”

Chris Dragan reminds me that someone cares. Or, as long as he cares and is inspired, that’s all that matters.

I love his stuff. I think any male currently between the age of 40 and 50 years old will love his stuff. Go to his Instagram page and start scrolling. I dare you to stop.

It’s 70s, 80s, and 90s pop-culture (OK, not everything is, but most of it is) and his work makes me nostalgic for a more simple era. I believe his art has real potential to ride a wave of that nostalgia, the nostalgia that currently has Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” screamed at college football stadiums, and has the documentary “High Score” in the top-10 on Netflix (as of the writing of this Blog).

Again, I love Chris’ work. I’ve purchased a piece (Green Day tiles), missed out on another, and wish I had more money to buy more pieces. What I love more than the art itself is that he’s doing it at all. He loves creating. It makes him happy. It makes his friends happy. Mark my words, it will make many people happy. When I look at some of his work it’s as if I’m looking back in time. When I see his recreation of Nintendo’s Zelda game cartridge hanging on the wall next to a Mario and scenes from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, I suddenly remember my 1987 bedroom, the orange carpet, my freshman year of high-school, and index cards taped together creating the Zelda kingdom so I could easily find my way around and back to the pond with the magic fairy with the magic flute that allowed you to transport to another part of the kingdom rather than going cell by cell (if that sentence makes sense to you …buy something from Dragan Pop Art). I remember my parents let me have a 13″ color TV in my bedroom (it wasn’t an easy thing for me to convince them I should have one) and I would watch Monday Night Football until I fell asleep and somewhere in the night my Mom must’ve come into my room and turned off the TV. But mostly I wanted a TV in my room so I could play video games and be left alone. Oh, I played hours upon hours of Nintendo. I had amazing grades in middle-school and high-school because I could only play Nintendo non-stop if my grades were good. Looking at the Zelda cartridge, I can hear the music and I can remember the two guys in my chemistry class that I’d talk to about Zelda – we’d even exchange notes and tips about Zelda …not about chemistry.

Nerdy? Yes. But I wasn’t alone. Don’t even pretend you didn’t have a favorite game (Tecmo Bowl? Super Mario? Tetris?). Or you knew someone who you thought spent-way-too-much-time with Nintendo.

I’ve never been a big “art guy” but envied people who were? I envied how they could look at something for such a long time and just stand there in awe.

Now I get it.

Chris Dragan’s Dragan Pop Art pieces will be on display at the Detroit Shipping Company at least until mid-September.

474 Peterboro Street
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 462-4973

Please, if you’re looking for something to do, go see his work. I don’t know how an artist sells their art (because once it’s sold, the artist never knows what happens to it …it is in a man cave? A living room? A bedroom? A garage) …it must be bittersweet. But if you’re inspired, buy something. Definitely snap a picture, post to social media (Instagram preferably), and tag @DraganPopArt.

But mostly, be inspired. Follow your heart. Follow your dreams. Don’t stop believin’.

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