D*FACE | London, UK
As one of the UK’s most proliﬁc street artists, D*Face (Dean Stockton) has been at the forefront of his practice since his initial breakthrough in 2005. Having grown up amidst the streets of London, he cultivated a keen interest in grafﬁti art and its disaffected mindset from an early age. As a teenager his artistic attentions turned to skate culture and the iconic skate deck designs of Jim Phillips and Vernon Courtlandt Johnson that he found in Thrasher Magazine. Inspired by their punk DIY aesthetic, D*Face attended an illustration and design course before beginning work as a freelance artist. Taking the public domain of the street as his canvas, he blended art, design and graffiti in a manner that pre-dated the emergence of street art as it is known today. Here the artist gained a great deal of attention, quickly rising to fame for the vivid nature of his designs. Despite now working in the gallery as well as the open canvas of the streets, D*Face continues to approach his work with the same anarchic energy that drove him to begin his career from the outset. His vibrant pop style and D*Dog logo have become synonymous with British street style and are recognized the world-over.
Working across a host of mediums and techniques, D*Face employs a family of dysfunctional characters to ridicule and hold to ransom all that falls into their grasp - a welcome jolt of satirical subversion in today’s media dominated environment. His ambition is to encourage the public eye not just to ‘see’ but to carefully consider the surroundings of the day-to-day, and society’s increasingly bizarre fascination with celebrity culture and mass consumerism. By rethinking, editing and subverting imagery drawn from decades of materialistic consumption - currency, advertising and comic books, the artist transforms these now iconic motifs, figures and genres in order to gain new insight into today's conspicuous society. Describing his work as aPOPcalyptic, D*Face seeks to pick up where the masters of 80s American Pop left off - to establish a very real, albeit tongue and cheek criticism of our consumer dominated world.
Alongside having worked with the likes of Shepard Fairy and Banksy, D*Face has also collaborated with Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II on a project that involved the customisation of banknotes and coins and their secret reinsertion back into public circulation. In 2005 the artist was also commissioned by the Vatican to produce a portrait in commemoration of Pope Benedict XVI’s instatement. The piece was shown for the ﬁrst time at the Outside Institute in May 2005, as well as on MTV Rome to great critical acclaim. In recent years, as well as the famed Blink-182 cover, D*Face continues to work closely with cultural icons, most recently having designed and hand painted a series of unique custom motorbikes in collaboration with the prestigious British motorcycle company, Triumph. As a lifelong Motorbike enthusiast, this was an opportunity of great personal signiﬁcance.
On top of solo exhibitions, global mural commissions and a host of secret projects, D*Face also runs his own London gallery, ‘StolenSpace’, which hosts numerous sell out street art exhibitions on an annual basis. In more recent years he has also begun a new venture into motorbike design with his ‘Rebels Alliance Motorcycle Company’, similarly based in London’s east end. With so much in the works, it's hard to say what's next in store for one of the UK’s most eminent street artists.
‘D*Face is one of Britain's leading "newbrow" artists, and damn if he isn't as sharp and clever - if not quite as surreptitious – as Banksy (and sharper and cleverer by half than Damien Hirst.)’ – Peter Frank, senior curator at the Riverside Art Museum and art critic for Angeleno Magazine.
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