Being a street artist wasn’t really a thing when Dface started out. Having basically lost interest in the standard tenets of the education system, dabbled in photography but with no real unique style and taken a job working in a creative practice where he felt his creativity was actually stifled he started working on his escape. His early exposure to the methods of Shepard Fairey and ready access to a wealth of artistic materials saw him soon plastering stickers and paste ups on the streets of London on his route to and from work. His influence on the street art scene and beyond since this time cannot be underestimated. He was part of the original Finders Keepers art swap events where many of the original street artists based in London got to know each other and he opened the first gallery dedicated to this art form in Paddington, West London. The Outside Institute, made an impact right from the start (not least because the spray painted hands holding a scalpel on nearby streets led directly to the culprits) but was ultimately on the wrong side of town. It became Stolen Space and relocated to the Truman Brewery complex in Shoreditch before moving once again to it’s current location at the lower end of Brick Lane. But what of Dface’s actual art?
DFace cut his teeth on stickers using nothing grander than a Pentel N50 marker pen. These stickers evolved into posters and even billboards. Then there was the spray painted work executed at first in out of the way places in the London suburbs but eventually today gracing huge walls around the world. Along the way he has cast huge concrete spray cans and deposited them on the streets of London and even printed on currency ultimately collaborating with contemporary Banksy on a set of fake tenners featuring Princess Diana.
Dface has always pushed the boundaries, not least with his shows. 2006’s ‘Death And Glory’ featured a car crushed by massive versions of one of his most popular motifs – the D Dog and a huge array of expertly crafted canvases with his signature pop art style depicting the death and decay of American icons. Since then he has held exhibitions worldwide and collaborated with some of the most famous recording artists on the planet including Christina Aguilera and Blink 182. His book, ‘One Man And His Dog’ remains one of the very best books of its kind. Meticulously put together, he took the time to ensure it was just right rather than rush it and it shows.
Dface – early work at Feltham Circles
Dface – Vermin in Covent Garden
Dface in New Haw
Dface near the old Truman Brewery
Dface concrete spray can deposited outside the Victoria and Albert Museum
Dface work on show at Stolen Space as part of the New World Disorder show in 2013.
D*Face shows: aPOPcalypse Now (2008)
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