The Art of D*Face: One Man and His Dog

November 3rd, 2013 | By | No Comments »

ArtofD*Face

As Shepard Fairey suggests in his artful introduction to this first-rate survey of D*Face’s artwork and life, D*Face is a master of art that is both subversive and skilled. And of particular appeal to me is that despite his commercial success, the artist continues to use the streets as a canvas.

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Like so many artists I’ve spoken to and interviewed, D*Face hated school and survived it through drawing and doodling anything — from bubble letters to cartoons — all over his school books. Through a mix of fortuitous circumstances, hard work and extraordinary skill, he  emerged from a working-class family to become one of the globe’s most successful urban artists. Prodded by his determination not to ever work at a job he hated — as he had seen his mom and too many folks do — he was saved by the skateboarding culture that introduced him to graffiti.

DFACE 7

He began tagging while looking for spots to skate, and with the discovery of Thrasher Magazine, Subway Art and Spraycan Art, he was on his way to forge a successful career as a street artist, fine artist and designer. And with the launch of his gallery, Stolen Space, in 2005, he’s paved the way for other artists, as well.

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Always experimenting and evolving, D*Face represents the best of urban art. With his particular fusion of pop culture and graffiti meshed with his rebellious streak and ingenious  imagination, D*Face draws both our eyes and minds into his vision. With its dozens of first-rate images and engaging text, The Art of D*Face: One Man and His Dog — published by Laurence King Publishing — is a model of an artist’s monograph. It came my way just as Banksy left town and it was the perfect antidote!

Photos courtesy Laurence King Publishing


Category: Books / Magazines | Tags:

Melbourne Monthly Madness – July 2013 (belated)

September 2nd, 2013 | By | No Comments »

Apologies for the delay posting this. I have had to hold off posting it due to Illegal August.

HAHA - Photo by David Russell

HAHA – Photo by David Russell

Metro Gallery started off the month with the opening of their group show “Writing on the Wall” with works from local and international artists such as Swoon, Rone, Matt Adnate, HAHA, Word to Mother, E.L.K, Dabs Myla and D*Face and more. Some shots from the opening below and more here.

Rone - Photo by David Russell

Rone – Photo by David Russell

Word to Mother - Photo by David Russell

Word to Mother – Photo by David Russell

The day after the opening Metro hosted more live painting, this month featuring work by Unwell Bunny, Two One and again E.L.K. More shots here.

Unwell Bunny - Photo by David Russell

Unwell Bunny – Photo by David Russell

Two One - Photo by David Russell

Two One – Photo by David Russell

E.L.K - Photo by David Russell

E.L.K – Photo by David Russell

Chaotic Gallery’s 1st show BRUISER by Creature Creature was a cracker. A massive turnout for the Southside’s newest gallery. The works were amazing; a combination of the two artists styles which mesh so well together, featuring influences from the samurai era throughout. Check out some of my favourite pieces below and more here.  Also check out some of their recent paste ups, which I also love, here.

Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature - Photo by David Russell

Creature Creature – Photo by David Russell

Read the rest of this article »


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D*face show this week at Stolenspace

June 6th, 2013 | By | No Comments »

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D*face will be the last artist to exhibit at London’s StolenSpace Gallery in their current location, fitting since he owns the place. D*face’s New World Disorder show runs from June 7th through the 23rd and will take place both in StolenSpace and in D*face’s studio in The Old Truman Brewery, just above the gallery. Much of the work from the show is inspired by the tragic death of Pat Tillman and the cover-up surrounding his death.

Photo courtesy of StolenSpace Gallery


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags:

Tim Hans shoots… D*face

April 29th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »

Dface2

D*Face is a cornerstone of London’s street art community, both for his own art and for the work of his StolenSpace Gallery in Shoreditch. Tim Hans met up with D*Face at his studio for the latest in our continuing series of photo-portraits of artists by Tim Hans, and I asked him a few question about his work and the recent controversy with Charles Krafft, who has shown at StolenSpace Gallery.

RJ: Until recently, I was sure that one of the best shows I’d ever seen was the Charles Krafft and Mike Leavitt show at your gallery Stolenspace in 2010. Now, it’s come up that Krafft’s supposedly ironic work confronting white supremacy and Nazism is not so ironic after all, and that Krafft himself is a Holocaust denier and white nationalist. What’s your take on Krafft’s work in light of these revelations?

D*Face: I’ve thought long and hard about this topic and we’ve been asked by many to speak about his Holocaust denial statement. In truth, it is something that can only be answered by Charles himself, and I’m not even sure if the context of what he said has been altered and misreported. In my experience, I never felt any sense of him being a white nationalist in the conversations we’ve shared over for his shows, so if that is truly the case, he kept this extreme view very quiet for a long time.

What I will say is my father fought in WW2 and my grandfather WW1 and WW2 where they saw many atrocities that had been carried out under the banner of the Swastika and Hitlers Nazi rule, of which there’s no denying. I always found Charles Krafft a deeply interesting character, he has led an incredible life, often well off the grid, with people from very varied and extreme backgrounds and cultures. He has an air about him of being an antagonist, even anarchist, in the true sense of the word, which when combined with his life experience and amazing knowledge makes for a very complex character. I enjoyed talking to him in depth about the numerous, often bizarre, subjects he’d researched… you could even call ‘lived.’ It also wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s spun all this to garner attention to his work, maybe not the best of ideas, but the saying ‘there’s no such thing as bad press’ could perhaps apply here… For me, his work is deeply challenging, uncomfortable and often disturbing, even when viewed prior to his recent statements. Do these recent statement make his work more or less powerful and provocative? Do you as the viewer have to share his alleged beliefs to appreciate his art and the challenging narrative? Maybe a more interesting debate would be ‘are we more interested in the artist than their art?’

RJ: The trend in recent years seems to be that artists who can get legal walls are going bigger and bigger, often leaving the small interventions behind, but you keep mixing things up outdoors with a combination of large, legal projects and tiny, simple interventions and everything in between. Why?

D*Face: That’s a really good question, and ironically I was pondering this recently while painting my biggest mural on a 60ft x 50ft wall in Puerto Rico. I spent 7 days up a cherry picker without a harness on unstable ground with the unsafe warning going off… I really thought LONG AND HARD about the ‘bigger is better’ legal murals that have become de rigueur. The answer to those big murals is the end result, the sheer volume of paint and impact, but there is a certain something lost. For me, it had always been about the ‘lurking’ round the corner intervention, the turning a corner and making that discovery that felt special, like you’re the only one that has found or seen it. The pieces that maybe only last a day or even less, but are able to change a passer byes day, put a smile on their face, or a frown… It’s those thoughts and ideas, the small interventions that still get me excited, as well as the big walls… I don’t think it can only be about scale, there’s always someone prepared to go bigger, more complex, paint faster, do more… but for me that’s not what it’s all about, so I’ll continue to try and mix it up.

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RJ: For me, your collaboration with Smirnoff is the quintessential example of an artist working with a brand in the right way, because you were able to make something that looked like your work rather than their vision of your work, but you got to use the massive resources of Smirfnoff to pull the project off. How did you pull that off?

D*Face: I really appreciate those words, thank you. Believe me, what wasn’t seen on the night was the years of discussions that went before it. It started off nearly 3 years ago with the ‘we’d like a bottle wrap, neck label’ email, which turned into an apprehensive meeting… at which point I said ‘thank you, but no thank you.’ But with all fairness to Smirnoff and Nude, the design agency who set the meeting up, they asked me back to present an open concept of what I would do as an ‘artist collaboration’… So I threw them some seriously full tilt ideas- the one that went ahead was probably about middle ground, so you can just imagine some of the concepts… but instead of running away scared, they fully embraced my idea and we set about making it actually happen. The problem of working with such a large corporation is that it takes a long time for the head to make the tail turn, and several times it was called off and then resurrected. Unfortunately, when you say with ‘the massive resources of Smirnoff’ it simply wasn’t the case. For what we achieved, we had a really tight, small budget and it was only by pulling in a huge favour from my friend, Ben Wilson, to help build and fabricate. By our resourcefulness, we managed to achieve that one night event to the level I aspired. I must say though, that at all times, Smirnoff kept with me on the concept and didn’t try and steer it back down the bottle wrap route, which seeing as thats the most obvious and well trodden route it would have been so easy for them to try and do.

RJ: What’s on the horizon? Anything you can hint at?

D*Face: Ok, you get the scoop. I have a new London solo show that is set to open in June this year… ‘New World Disorder.’ So, I’m in the thick of works and plans for that…It’s going to be really special– certainly a unique venue and event!

I’ve also just signed off the proofs for my long-in-the-works book that I’ve been working on in the background for well over a year. It is being published in September and I’m extremely pleased with how it looks. There’s a few other pretty exciting things in the mix, but I’m superstitious so until they’re 100% confirmed I’m keeping quiet!

Photos by Tim Hans


Category: Featured Posts, Interview, Portraits by Tim Hans | Tags: ,

Weekend link-o-rama

February 9th, 2013 | By | No Comments »
"Órbita" by David de la Mano and Pablo S. Herrero. Click to view the full piece.

“Órbita” by David de la Mano and Pablo S. Herrero. Click to view the full piece.

Slow week, but that doesn’t mean nothing good happened. Here’s some of it…

  • Love this drawing by Pixote.
  • It seems that Hrag Vartanian was not a big fan of Les Ballets De Faile, Faile’s project with the New York City Ballet. Personally, I really liked to the project. Yes, Hrag is right in pointing out that people were expecting more (like Faile having involvement with set design and costumes), but what Faile did do was, I think, a major success. Nine artists out of ten would have seriously messed up this sort of collaboration by not striking the right balance between completely ignoring the setting and embracing it too much. Ignore the setting, and the work could just have been shown anywhere and would have looked out of place. Go too far in trying to bend the work to the situation, and the artists’ essence is lost and the whole thing comes off as a cheesy joke. Faile struck just the right balance. There was a lot of classic Faile, mixed in with some new ballet-inspired imagery, but the ballet-inspired imagery didn’t look out of place at all. Faile’s work has always had a mix of grit and classical beauty, that ballet with their spin fit perfectly into that. I’ve got to disagree with Hrag on another point and say that I thought the work looked like it fit in just as well as anything else in the theater, particularly the massive “Tower of Faile” piece.
  • Thoughts on Crummy Gummy? I’m not sure what I think. Another Mr. Brainwash-inspired derivative artist who never needs to be mentioned again, or actually kinda funny?
  • Zoer has a new print out.
  • Kid Acne made some scarves that are now for sale with his “art fag” character on them.
  • The British Zeus had a solo show open this week at London’s Graffik Gallery. It’s open through the 21st.
  • Ever wanted to design a t-shirt using D*face’s logo? Now you can, and you can win $500 and a print for your efforts.
  • Great new piece by Seacreative.
  • It’s exciting to see strong murals going up in South Delhi, India.

Photo courtesy of David de la Mano and Pablo S. Herrero


Category: Gallery/Museum Shows, Photos, Print Release, Products, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

D*face has fun with Christmas trees

January 15th, 2013 | By | 1 Comment »

Tree-For-Life-2-webres

D*face recently went out and did some simple (but effective) redecoration to some of the pine trees sitting around the streets London post-Christmas. Has he says, “A tree is for life not just Xmas!” More here.

Tree-For-Life-3-webres

Tree-For-Life-5-webres

Tree-For-Life-6-webres

Photos courtesy of D*face


Category: Photos | Tags:

Sunday link-o-rama

December 23rd, 2012 | By | No Comments »
NEKST. Photo by C-Monster

NEKST. Photo by C-Monster.net

So much news this week, but first and foremost is the untimely death of NEKST, a globally respected writer.

Photo by C-Monster.net


Category: Art News, Photos, Products, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Limited edition D*Face t-shirt from Rebels Alliance

December 13th, 2012 | By | No Comments »

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It’s D*Face and it’s limited edition – neither of those things mean cheap. But also, this is wearable art which your friends almost definitely won’t have because there are only 50. Get “Buffed Dog” from the Rebels Alliance online shop.

Buffed-Dog-Front

Photo courtesy of D*Face


Category: Products | Tags:

Weekend link-o-rama

June 22nd, 2012 | By | No Comments »

The week isn’t over yet, but this week’s news is going to be old if I don’t mention it soon. Here’s some of what I missed this week:

Photo by SMKjr


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Competition time: Tickets to the D*Face/Smirnoff collaboration launch

June 8th, 2012 | By | 105 Comments »

D*Face and Smirnoff have teamed up to create an inventive limited edition collectable bottle. To celebrate the exciting collaboration, D*Face and Smirnoff will be hosting an exclusive party encompassing a surreal art experiment in East London on Wednesday 13th June where attendees will each receive a piece of art by D*face.

Vandalog is able to offer one lucky winner a pair of VIP tickets to invite-only party.

To enter, just leave a comment with the name of the gallery that D*Face owns. Make sure to leave your real email in the comment, so that we can be in touch. Only Vandalog will be able to see your email. The winner will be selected among those who answer correctly and notified via email on Wednesday morning.


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