Surreal art as an act on stage - meet Dramna, the Italian drag star from Naples, an inspiring and crazy city in southern Italy. Dramna’s looks are the source for his power on stage, that he needs while wandering through the nightclubs in Naples. With his performance, he is spreading messages and makes the impalpable and the imaginary real, taking all inspiration from works of art, films, news, or images seen on social media.
What allows you to transmit anonymity regarding your art so that you keep it as the only constant?
I believe more than everything, that I have transformed the concept of anonymity from a mask into a symbol of free expression.
Was it challenging for you growing up in Napoli as an artist? Did you ever feel judged or creatively constrained by society?
Naples is a city made of contrasts that can give you a lot, but also equally takes a lot away ... for me it is undeniable that without my background I would not be what I am! But it's not easy to be an artist in Naples, every day with my way of expressing myself I try to break down social conventions, and take the best that the city can offer me.
What do your usual drag star performances include? How do you usually generate ideas for your acts?
There are two different types: the first is that of a kids club, where I focus on the sensuality of the looks, I live the dance floor and the contact with people. Then there is the more performative part, where I try to convey messages, make the impalpable and the imaginary real ... This is inspired by works of art, films, news, or images seen on social media! Everything can become a starting point for a performance.
How did you come up with your stage name? Are you Drammna IRL or is that an alter ego you invented?
The name Dramna has it’s origin from the word drama. When I chose it, I had to make clear right away that Dramna is a very scenic and theatrical character! It is an alter ego, an exasperation of my personality and creative flair, so it is me but at the same time it does not exist .... When you see me in the club it might even be a figment of your imagination.
If you could share a dinner with three people (celebrities or not) that have passed away, who would you choose and why?
Without a doubt I would like to go for dinner with Salvador Dalì, Leigh Bowery and Anna Piaggi! Those personalities are so charismatic and eccentric, they have left their mark on our society. I would delight in conversing with them, understanding how they reason and asking them existential questions, and quibble about exquisite frivolities.
Do you have any helpful advice you could give to any young, upcoming artist, that you wish someone would have told to you?
Strongly believe in your own ideas and always feel free to be yourself.
What role does social media play on your career? Does your reach of likes and followers motivate you to work more? Do you pay much attention to that?
I believe that social media is fundamental today to convey your ideas! I do not deny that I like to receive ‘Likes‘, but I don't create content with that single goal. On the contrary, sometimes it happens that I publish contents that I already know I won't receive great feedback for this, but at that moment I am more interested in expressing the concept than the number of ‚Likes‘.
What’s your favourite Napolitano dish?
It will be cliché but I really love pizza!
Would you like to permanently stay in Napoli? Which other cities could you see yourself living in?
I wouldn't mind doing some experience abroad, like going to London, Paris or experiencing the New York club kid scene. But I know that in the end I would always come back here, to my Naples.
What mark do you wanna leave for upcoming generations? What would you like to be remembered for? Paradoxically, I would like to be a symbol of freedom for the new generations, especially for Naples. I would like to be remembered as a dissonant note in everyday life, like a true artist.
interview SASHA MARIA BELL
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