Interview with D*Face: Sticking it to the man! Part IIJuxtapoz // Friday, 04 Dec 2009
Helen Soteriou: How did you come-up with the idea for the characters?
D*Face: I was always into cartoons. It was always something that interested me. I collected cartoon characters and crazy shit like that for a long time. I guess I was thinking ‘I want to put something up in the street that interests me’. There was no great idea to it, I was just bored sitting at my desk and I was drawing on paper in the way you just doodle something – there is no beginning or end to it. I was just doodling characters, and I had a mate who was working with me and we were in the same boat – bored out of our minds, and we would check-out each others characters, and he was really madly talented and said you should continue doing that and then I thought I won’t just draw it on a paper I’ll draw it on vinyl and stick them up on the way home…and that was that.
One character needs to have a pet as another character, and you know they start having this little world, and really the one character ‘the dog’ as I named it, sort-of prevails, just because it is quite flexible to work with and use, and that was the beginnings of it.
How did you come-up with the name D*Face?
It is really crap. It is such a boring story. Basically at the time I was drawing on empty advertising space and someone said to me ‘I’ve seen these faces around’ and it sounded like ‘Deface’ and so I was like, that is kinda cool, and someone said you should be ‘D e Face’ and so I said no it should be D* Face. The stories of most people’s names are pretty crap. I don’t know anyone who has a good name.
Are you discrete when you put up stickers?
From 2000 onwards to probably up until 3 years ago CCTV in London was non existent. I remember putting-up posters in Oxford Street on Thursday evening and nobody said a word, but it is a different thing now. When people say something now, I say it is a sticker, so what, big deal. It is hardly a crime, but certain people see it otherwise. I have never tried to hide putting stickers up and that and so what.
For me, it is like, the lamp post is there. It is there for the stickers. Nobody asks me whether they should paint it grey or black, so I should not have to ask someone’s permission to put a sticker on it. In fact, they are much better when they have a couple of stickers on them; they are far more interesting for passers-by, whereas with a grey or black box there is no dialogue-visual or otherwise for any passer-by.
Do you do eavesdrop at your gallery shows / on the street?
I never hang around. Only recently I have started going to the shows, before I would not even turn-up to them. I prefer people not to know who I am. It does not benefit my work at all. My art should be judged on the merits or the downfalls of the work itself. Whether you like or dislike me is irrelevant.
I’d rather not be in the spotlight at all, and also if you hear positive or negative comments you cannot help but take them on board. If someone says ‘that is the greatest thing you have ever done’ then when you are creating your next body of work, you hold that nugget of information in your head and think ‘maybe I should do something along those lines’. If someone says ‘I really didn’t like what you did there’, particularly peoples opinions who count, peoples opinions who I don’t know, I don’t care about their opinions at all. But if they say ‘I really liked that’ or ‘I really hated that’ and you see it as the best thing you have done in your life, you are going to say ‘oh shit, maybe I should not continue doing those’. So, either way it has a negative connotation to me, in my opinion. It started as my own self-indulgent act and I prefer to keep it that way.