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In conversation with D*Face – UK’s leading figure in Urban Contemporary Art
Art can empower people to make a change...
Men Crush 09 Oct 2018

Dean Stockton
Image via D*Face website

D*Face a.k.a Dean Stockton is a leading figure in the Urban Contemporary Art scene. Starting his career on the streets over 15 years ago using a variety of mediums and techniques, adhering his work all over the neighbourhoods of London and beyond for the unsuspecting public to discover. He is one of the best-known figures to rise from the British urban art scene having had a constant leading presence throughout its meteoric rise into popular culture.

Dean Stockton
Image via D*Face website

Last week D*Face debuted the ‘Save the World’ art car at the London Moniker Art Fair in collaboration with cybersecurity giants, Kaspersky Lab, which saw the forty-year-old art car concept driven forward into the 21st century. As an avid supporter of the arts and motor sport, Kaspersky Lab presented its own unique take on the art car concept, made famous in the 1970s, breathing new life into the high-end hot rod art car concept, by selecting a new set of wheels to work with and, gave D*Face free range to do what he wanted with it. The result was D*Face imprinting his bright, bold and colourful artistic trademarks on the Virgin Racing Formula E car; signalling the first Formula E art car ever made. The car, emblazoned with ‘Save the World’, features several of D*Face’s iconic wings and acts as a vehicle to illustrate a powerful message – that art can empower people to make a change.

Showcasing your latest work in your hometown must be such a pleasure. What do you love most about being in London?

You said it yourself, it’s my hometown, London is a part of me and part of my art – always has been, always will be. The Streets of East London are so integral to the genre of urban street art, nothing will ever erase that fact and it’s an honour to be a continuing part of that story.

Dean Kaspersky Lab
Image via Kaspersky Lab

What areas of London would you recommend we explore after your show?

Take a wander around East London, embrace every side street you come across, and then obviously head to the pub.

What interested you in collaborating with the Virgin Racing Formula E Team?

As I said, I’ve lived in London my entire life and during that time I’ve seen so many changes made to reduce the city’s carbon impact, but in 2018 we’re still on the top twenty list for carbon emissions across the world. That’s unacceptable. A few years ago, I’d have questioned the alternatives, but this year I’ve seen what electric engines can really do, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they’re the future. I actually raced against a couple of electric motorbikes at an event last summer and it wasn’t even a contest, they’re that much faster than a petrol engine – that blew me away, I had to get involved somehow. This collab offered me that chance.

What is your message behind the artwork?

At its core, “The Save the World’ project is about awareness – being more in tune with how you put yourself out into the world and the effect you have your surroundings. If everyone took more responsibility for their actions, I guarantee the world would be a better place. The first part of the project was the New York mural, that was more specifically directed at online awareness – staying alert to how you project your personal data in the internet-age. That was just after the big Facebook scandal, so it seemed right. The Formula E car is intended more towards environmental conciseness – that is after all the main reason behind going electric. The cars neon brightness is intended to grab as much attention as possible, to let people know that the future lies with electric engines.

Dean Stockton
Image via D*Face website

Climate change and technological developments are core issues the Formula E Team plan to tackle. Are these also areas that you would like to explore more on with your work?

Definitely – I mean don’t get me wrong I’m not going full eco-warrior and I still have a soft spot for the sound and feel of the petrol engine, but I do share the environmental concerns that encouraged the creation of Formula E. To me it seems like common sense that you would want to look after the place you live, if you treat it like a dump then don’t complain about it looking like one and don’t expect it to improve without doing your part. My art has always been about making people re-evaluate things that they take for granted, the environment is no exception

You can find more of D*Face a.k.a Dean Stockton’s work on his website here – www.dface.co.uk

Interview by Peigi Mackillop

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