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D*Face Knows How To Fuck With Things


The British iconoclast was inspired by Henry Chalfant.  

Plenty of us had wild childhood aspirations – ideas of what we wanted to be when we were older that seem far-fetched with hindsight – but few of us sustained these aspirations until we were old enough to realise them. But that’s something that happened to multimedia street artist D*Face.

Previously known as Dean Stockton, D*Face was drawn to graffiti in his childhood, something that he attributes to Henry Chalfant’s coverage of New York graffiti in his books Spraycan Art and Subway Art. This fascination evolved into an affiliation with skateboarding and the stickers and graphics of skateboard decks and the DIY nature that came with it. The multimedia techniques used in skateboarding culture is something that stuck with Stockton; he’s revered for employing a variety of mediums throughout his work.

There is a playful element to many of D*Face’s works. For example, his project Read & Destroy  harks back to Dean’s childhood, using books he’s had from a young age. It involves hybridising books by chopping parts up to create new sections of texts and titles, thus reinterpreting old books into new ones, the only rule of thumb being that each book must cost no more than £1. And simple, self-imposed limitations like these encourage creativity.

Many of D*Face’s artworks share aesthetic similarities to some of the pop major artists, most notably Roy Lichtenstein who was famed for his cartoon frames. But Dean doesn’t just emulate styles in order to create a pastiche. He not only combines mixed media but pays careful attention to the context and concept that support the artwork.

D*Face’s penchant for “fucking with things,” often comes down to subverting infamous iconography, just take his interpretation of the image of the Queen. Defacing the image by adding wings to her head, a tongue poking out of giving her an altogether new shaved hair ‘do adds a completely new dimension to the piece. Even D*Face’s logo integrates that trademark D from the Disney logo. This appropriation brings the works into a new context that in turn evokes new feelings and acts as the vehicle for a different concept.

You can see is first Mural in London on side wall of the Theatro Technis Theater in London’s King’s Cross (26 Crowndale Rd, London NW1 1TT, United Kingdom)


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