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D*Face Interview

D*Face BIO
Working with a variety of mediums and techniques, D*Face uses a family of dysfunctional characters to satirise and hold to ransom all that falls into their grasp a welcome jolt of subversion in today's media-saturated environment. His aim is to encourage the public not just to 'see', but to look at what surrounds them and their lives. Recent examples include his collaboration with H.R.H Queen Elizabeth II on a series of bank notes that were put into circulation for an unsuspecting public to notice them in their change. Then, to commemorate the instatement of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican commissioned D*Face to paint a portrait. The piece was shown for the first time at the Outside Institute in May 2005, as well as on MTV Rome, to critical acclaim.

What is D*face exactly?

D*Face: D*Face is a secret government project, started about 10 years ago to test the publics awareness and resistance when faced with an alternative to the mundane advertising that surrounds our public domain. There is no specific goal, conclusion or end it merely serves to test cause and reaction.

How did you get into illustration work?

D*Face: After I managed to get myself through school, failing all of the 'academic' subjects, due to skating, graffiti and generally fucking around, I somehow managed to get into a college for photography. But again, I just got stoned and fucked around for a couple years and realized I was never going to be a professional photographer. My mum was like 'well, I'll get you a job at the bank', my dad was like 'I'll get you a job as a mechanic' and I was thinking what the hell are the two of you talking about. I wanted to be a student, and bum around for a few more years. I was looking into this animation and illustration program, totally expecting not to get in. Luckily I got an interview and had this tutor that was totally into the same stuff as me and gave me a place on the spot. That one guy changed the direction I was going. Once I started that coarse I realized that all these magazines like Thrasher, with Jim Philips art and punk music and skateboard culture, was something that you could do with your life and make a living at it. There was this moment when everything I had been into in my past locked and all the suddenly made sense. If I was not doing this God knows what I would be doing.

How much other street work are you doing these days?

D*Face: A lot less than I would like to be doing and a lot less than I have done in the past. It is always a difficult thing. I mean my heart lies in the street. That is where I come from and how this whole thing has come about. It is a slightly different feeling with a gallery show. Obviously, if I am doing a show in a gallery I want to at least succeed with it and put as much into it as possible. I also had a kid last year, so my weekends are spent with my family. Evenings I am trying to get home at a reasonable hour, which does not always happen, as I am sure you can understand. We do a lot of street work when we travel. Did a bunch of stuff in Norway and try to do as much as we can when we come to New York. Not as much stuff as I would have liked but New York can be a difficult place to put stuff up these days.

Complete interview on Fecal Face.

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