An Interview with D*Face For His New Mural in Brooklyn
Street art legend D*Face recently partnered with Kaspersky Lab to paint this giant mural in Brooklyn for Moniker Art Fair. The UK-based artist is known for his use of pop imagery and comic book style, usually to illustrate a satirical message about pop-culture and power. This recent mural, titled Save The World, arrives at a crux moment, and adds to his long repertoire of tongue-in-cheek jabs at establishment. We chatted with D*Face about this new mural, New York, and what he's been up to in these tumultuous times.
So your new mural is in Brooklyn, what does that immediately mean for you when you started?
Brooklyn has such a massive reputation culturally and artistically, and every time I go, I’m immediately reminded why. Obviously it gained a kind of mythical reputation, and it’s not the same place you read about anymore, it’s been fancied up a bit, but I’ve always been a sucker for an artisan coffee anyway, so I can’t complain. It’s been an awesome project to be involved with and it’s great to be back in NYC.
What is working in New York like for you?
In truth I’ve always been more of an LA person. New York works a bit like a well-oiled machine and always felt like a bit of a spanner in the works every time I would visit. This time felt different though, maybe I’ve adjusted after all this time but everything we had lined up stayed on track for once, hopefully I haven’t just jinxed it by saying that!
What has working over the last year been like for you? How do you treat being anti-establishment when the establishment is as intensely right wing and as vocally flagrant as it is now?
It’s been another crazy year for me and my team. There’s so much going on and it’s non-stop; two solo shows, I painted a bunch of bikes, and also painted way too many murals to count. In terms of establishment vs anti-establishment, the way I see it as an artist is that it gives me more reason to be making art the way that I do. If there was nothing to say, or no establishment to be against, then it would all seem a bit pointless, if you see what I’m saying. The louder they shout the louder I get to shout back!
What's one way you've been able to stay true to your original goals with making murals as someone who helped build the foundations of street art?
That’s a tricky question, working on the street has changed so much, especially within the public eye. People actually make pilgrimages to specific murals now, it’s crazy! When we started out, no one cared about what we were doing, and now it's totally flipped on its head. I guess location is still something that keeps me true to my goals, painting places that would otherwise go unnoticed. I always wanted to pull people out of their everyday routines, make them look at a wall that they’ve walked passed a thousand times in a whole new way. I recently creatively collaborated with cybersecurity brand Kaspersky Lab, to create a mural on Eagle Street in Brooklyn, New York, called ‘SAVE THE WORLD’. People nowadays are so bizarrely fascinated with celebrity, fame, consumerism and materialism, so my artwork aims to re-think, rework and subvert imagery drawn from decades of materialistic consumption to comment upon our conspicuous society. It's a permanent mural that I hope will engage the public and encourage them to reflect on their lives and the world will live in. I think that’s stayed true throughout it all.
Were there any exhibits or galleries you were keeping a keen eye out for at Moniker this year?
You know, I’ve been so swamped with the mural project that I barely had a chance to check out the exhibitors this year, which is a shame because there seemed to be some insane stuff on show. I did see Vertical Gallery had a few dope looking HERA pieces (one half of HERAKUT), big fan of that.