(D*Face / Photo by Medi)
by: Andrés Medina
This conversation happened under the dark roof of ONOIR restaurant. I had previously met D*FACE in Mexico City while he was painting a wall so there was some kind of familiarity. It’s always a pleasure to have a chance to speak to D*Face because he is one of the most respected artist in the game.
D, can you tell me a bit about your origins, your childhood and how you created your art style?
The origins of my art style… hmm… I guess it’s really simple in my mind, I wasn’t academic so… my parents wanted me to be academic, they wanted me to study math, science, politics… and, well I was never gonna be that kid. I wasn’t stupid, you know? But it didn’t stick with me, so I kind of found my own ground, in my own interests, and those things where: graffiti, comics, skateboarding… that’s pretty much the story to my life. My parents didn’t understand it, I mean we’re talking early eighties, at the time when skateboarding was considered to be an outcast of society, graffiti was completely a hood kind of thing to do, so for my parents… they didn’t like their child doing these kind of things.
When did it all begin, what led you to the art world?
I guess I was failing academically, I wasn’t gonna be a doctor or whatever, whatever my mom thought I should be, I wasn’t gonna be that person. I already got into skateboarding, breakdance, bmxing and smoking weed, getting f*cked up and having a good time. And finding these thing united people, you know? You’re part of this group of people that was very, very unique at the time. That was the kind of thing I connected to. And when I connected to it, I kind of couldn’t see anything else, so school didn’t even exist.
Did you ever think of doing all these activities in a professional way?
Nah, f*ck no, there was no such thing. I mean you got to imagine, when we did all these things, that vision didn’t exist. I just was really into it. No dude, there was no preconception and I was cool, I liked that.
How was the transition of finding your style?
I’m still finding it. I’m still evolving, I know why I can do the instantly D*Face but I don’t feel like that’s what I want to do all the time, I’m trying to find something else. I like what I do but…
What are your thoughts on the art world these days, you own a gallery so what’s your statement?
What a gallery has always been, based upon representing artists first, it’s because there was no one was doing it right, I thought, “Someone has to do it right.” And for a long time, I was looking for that place, nobody stepped up, so I was like, “F*ck it! I’ll do it”. I never studied any of this sh*t, it was literally like, “This art form deserves more than a show but no gallery is paying attention to it…” so that’s why I opened a gallery.
Tell me about the mural you are painting in this edition of Mural Festival.
This mural is kind of difficult for me; different for me cause I’m trying to do something that looks like it existed before I existed. I want to create the sensation of asking yourself, “Was that there before or… I don’t remember that being there… How old is that?” That becomes very interesting; I like that concept. I’ve painted a lot of murals, but not like this one, I want to see how people react to it. A lot of what we do is adding to… we add, put on top of… Now it’s about removing, taking something away.
(Meggs and D*Face / Photo by: André Bathalon)