- June 10th, 2007
DrilOne is a New Yorker at heart and a San Franciscan by location. On the East Coast, he painted only 2d work; on the west coast, toys and other 3D objects are his preferred canvas. He began working with vinyl in 2005, and soon after stumbled upon the formula that would serve as his signature style. By taking a playful object and distressing it to, quite literally, its breaking point, Dril comments on oblivion, transience, and re-birth. Dril says simply: “I love rust, decay, history, ruins, military, skulls, vintage, and all this makes me who I am.” Art is in Dril’s blood. The son of a painter, he cannot imagine or remember life without drawing. He is a veteran of the New York City public school system and spent most of his life amidst the city’s chaos and creativity. His upbringing and admiration for contemporary, pop and graffiti artists are reflected in his work. The many inspirations that inform his art include abandoned amusement parks, insane asylums and old military bunkers.
Dril has made a name for himself with his instantly recognizable visual expression, and his sought-after figures can be seen in art galleries and collections around the world. Standouts among the prolific artist’s recent work include a custom Severed Popbot head by 3A for the I Am Legion show at Gallery 1:AM in San Francisco, a custom Jumping Brain for Brain Evolution at Toy Art Gallery in LA and a custom Be@rbrick for the ICONS show at Hang Gang in the UK. While he continues to be a source of inspiration in the customization movement, the last couple years have seen Dril One moving toward realizing more of his original designs. In 2010, Toy2R made Dril’s first mass-produced figure: a battle-damaged Toyer for Qee Design Series 6. The following year, Kidrobot included a production version of Dril’s customized Gas Mask Dunnys in their 2011 Dunny Series. The Gas Mask Special-Ops Dunny required special tooling to manufacture and is regarded as one of the fan favorites of the series.
In the Fall of 2011, Dril presented a comprehensive body of work for his first solo show, Greetings to Hell, at Dragatomi in Sacramento, CA. The exhibition, which included customized toys, hand-made resin objects and several appropriated 3D canvases, was a huge success. Attendees witnessed Dril taking on new challenges and playing with scale through pieces like his Taxidermy Shark and Welcome to Hell sign. In addition to his work as a toy artist, Dril is also a curator and an accomplished graphic and web designer. He continues to maintain a solid presence in the community, and you can find him at shows, conventions and events. Wherever there are blank toys to be reborn or shiny objects to be destroyed, you are likely to find him. In between, you can always reach out to him on Twitter.