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.
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.
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.
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