D’Face calls his style aPOPcalyptic. His murals, paintings and prints can be found on buildings and in galleries around the world.
D’Face is the tag for Dean Stockton, who was born in London in 1978 and grew up in a neighborhood not far from Wimbledon. “We didn’t have any money.” he said, in a 2014 interview for the skateboarder’s ezine The Hundreds, ”You know, my parents were hardworking people. My mum worked in the bank and my dad was a panel beater [an auto body mechanic], he was always working with his hands, making stuff we didn’t have the money to buy. It was like, “Dad, I want a walkie talkie,” so I got a block of wood with a nail in the top, painted khaki green, and that was it.”
He says that he was, “not brilliant at school” but loved skateboarding and the graphics and artwork associated with the street culture, especially the work of Shepard Fairey.
He began to create skateboard designs, using stickers, spray paint and stencils. “Actually in my naiveties,” he said, “I thought you had to be a pro skater, then you got to make your own skate graphics. That was what inspired me: Skate graphics.” When he took classes in graphic design, illustration and animation, D’Face began to understand that his art work could lead to a career.
Dad, I want a walkie talkie,” so I got a block of wood with a nail in the top, painted khaki green, and that was it.”
D’Face worked as a graphic designer, but found that he was more interested in doing his own work and increasingly unhappy at his job. “Then one day whilst dreaming up further ideas in the series of ‘Ways to kill time,” he said, “the pencil lines on the pad started to become characters, strange and dysfunctional they formed my dysfunctional world which had no rule. Slowly I figured the pencil could be replaced with a marker pen (the Pentel N50 to be exact) and the paper replaced with cheap vinyl which was acquired from DIY stores, these characters once resigned to a life on paper filed in a folder under ‘Not suitable for visual consumption’ began to have a life of their own; adhered to lamp post and electrical boxes they plotted and linked my route home, one became 10 and slowly 10 became more than I can remember. Each evening and as much of the day as I could rob was spent drawing and cutting out stickers. Stickers became posters, posters became more ambitious and somewhere in between I quit my job or maybe that was I got fired, either way the inevitable had happened. Like a river cuts it’s own path, I’d cut mine.”
D’Face came to the attention of the art world when he put his own graphics on a series of banknotes and put them into circulation. Soon after the banknotes were released, Banksy got in touch with him and asked if he wanted to be one of the artists represented by Banksy’s studio, Pictures on Walls.
D’Face had his first major solo exhibition in 2006 at his StolenSpace gallery in London. The show sold out and led to other shows and many commissions and collaborations around the world.
Boyce The Early Bird Catches the Worm :: A Chat with British Street Artist D*FACE
The Hundreds. September 11, 2014.
Felicity Carter British Artist D*Face On His Dysfunctional Characters
Forbes August 26, 2018.