Interview with D*Face, artist.
In February, we covered on our Instagram Haig Club’s first artist-designed bottled released in collaboration with one of the most successful urban artists Dean Stockton, better known as D*Face. To learn more, we asked D*Face to share some insights into the collaboration and his work.
How would you describe your artistic practice, and can you share which piece of art you have recently enjoyed creating?
The clue to that one is kind of in the name, I tend to play around with icons, graphics and imagery that world culture has become so saturated with and encourage people to take a different stance or at least take a second to actually stop and think about the images they’re constantly absorbing. It has elements of punk to it I guess, I’ve always enjoyed that aesthetic but I’m also heavily influenced by American Pop and also skate graphics and 90’s underground illustration. My most recent mural was in Lisbon, Portugal — my team and I managed to make a getaway over there before we were all locked down again. The wall was kind of an unconventional one, for a mural anyway — it was crazy long and not that tall so it really called for some extra thought as to what we painted.
How did the collaboration with Haig Club come about? Did you have a favourite part in collaborating with the brand?
As most brand-related collabs do really, they hit me up through a PR agency that I’ve worked with before and we got to talking about their concept and what potential it had. It seemed like a fun thing to get involved with and I know Remi [Rough] who was already on board to do a bottle of his own, so it seemed like a safe bet to me. The printing technique they were using for the bottles was not one I’ve come across before so that was kind of cool and obviously it’s great that they sold out so fast too. I did do another collab with a liquor brand before, way back in my career, that was a much different thing though and ended up being more like a real exhibition. Cool to revisit and compare how the two experiences have differed over the years.
How was it different creating art for a brand versus creating work for yourself / for your collectors?
Well, the obvious thing is that I have to be aware of the client’s wishes — their do’s and don’ts. Just typical things really, things you’d expect like “no guns, death or explicit imagery or vocabulary”, specifically for this one too, because of the whole pandemic situation, the couple on the bottle couldn’t actually be mid-kiss (germs and all that). Other than that it’s much the same. Though I suppose too, it’s always good to try and use your most iconic or recognisable graphics as an artist for big collaborations like this — you want people who already know your work to recognise that it’s still you and also for people who aren’t so familiar to see what your work is about and maybe explore it further.
We love the design of the bottle, can you tell us what inspired it?
The graphic for the bottle is part of what I call my “Romance” series, through which I’ve explored a few different ideas and themes in the past. Around the same time as the collaboration, I had a show open in Taipei, ‘Poor Connection’, which used similar motifs to explore the new social boundaries and gateways that have arisen as a result of the pandemic. This bottle isn’t necessarily part of that same line of thought but graphically, that sort of work was on my mind at the time.
You have previously collaborated with other brands, including UNIQLO as well as designing album covers for musicians such as Blink-182. When you choose to work with a brand what do you consider to be the most important part of the collaboration?
Good question, typically the brand needs to align with my interests in some way or have some resonating factor with my art that I can picture going hand in hand. Uniqlo, for example, has a long-standing history of artist collaborations; my kids wear their stuff pretty often and I enjoy what they do so it made sense. With Blink it was a little different because I knew Travis [Barker] prior to the album cover. He’d been to a few of my LA shows and bought a few pieces so it was a kind of personal honour and fun favour for a friend that turned out really great.
Usually, there’s a lot of thought that goes into deciding how a collaboration is going to look to people that know me and my work, does it make sense that I’d be interested in the thing that I’m essentially endorsing through my art, how will it reflect on me, and are people going to engage with it in a positive way?
If you could collaborate with any other brand, who would it be?
No names immediately spring to mind, I’d love to get on some more musical collaborations, they’re always fun to envision, plus you’re working with other creative minds on jobs like that so the results are extra exciting. Other than that I’m always down to design a motorbike…
Are you working on any other exciting projects that you can share with us?
There are a few cool things in the D*Face pipeline, crypto has been on the mind recently so you might see an advent into that in the short future — keep your peepers peeled!
About The Artist:
D*Face is a British urban artist known for his thought-provoking graffiti, stickers and posters. Focusing on themes such as consumerism, materialism and celebrity culture, D*Face draws inspiration from a range of sources, including Pop Art and New York’s street art scene. He has created murals around the world and in major cities, including New York, Tokyo, Paris and London as well as exhibiting in galleries worldwide. In addition to his murals and paintings, he has also designed album covers for musicians such as Blink-182 and Christina Aguilera, as well as collaborating with other street artists including Banksy. In 2005, D*Face set up ‘StolenSpace’, a leading contemporary urban art gallery located in London.