Street artist D*Face invades Corey Helford Gallery
When illegal street art comes up, most people immediately think of Banksy. But another U.K. street artist proves in his first L.A. exhibit that he is just as edgy and thought-provoking.
D*Face, whose artwork was put on display for the first time in Los Angeles at the Corey Helford Gallery on April 9, draws upon Andy Warholâs vibrant use of color and geometric composition, while also taking cues from the vintage comic book aesthetic of Roy Lichtenstein and some of the wild figures of Keith Haring.
âGoing Nowhere Fast,â D*Faceâs L.A. exhibition, showcases the artistâs unique style.
Thematically, D*Face produces art that is, as he describes it, âaPOPcalyptic,â dealing with celebrity, popular culture and mortality. Much of his work involves death, whether he is putting skateboards inside velvet-lined coffins or depicting infamous movie stars as half-zombies.
D*Face also pokes fun at the seriousness with which we view public figures: Two of the most prominent pieces of the galleryâs upstairs display are a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, complete with nose-ring and magenta mohawk, and the Statue of Liberty sporting a sad clown face.
D*Faceâs repertoire is very diverse, however, and extends beyond the exhibit. He has participated in a book cover designing project for the 50th Anniversary of Penguin Books, he created a portrait of Pope Benedict XVI for the Vatican and he worked with Christina Aguilera to design the cover art for her most recent album, Bionic.
And amid these commissioned projects, D*Face continues to produce illegal street art.
D*Face seems to scorn the idea of fame, as shown by a larger-than-life skeletal Oscar statue and a wall display of the Hollywood sign smoldering atop a mound of skulls. His work both immortalizes the idea of fame, while urging viewers to realize its dangerous results.
One of his most well-known images is that of a blond woman locked in a tearful kiss with a skeleton man. Done in the same manner as a Lichtenstein image, the piece appears to play upon the phrase âkiss of deathâ and can be seen as pushing viewers past their comfort zones to consider the grisly price of fame.
Another eye-catching display located in the main room is his âFlutterdiesâ sculpture series. Confined within glass cases hung on the wall, a menagerie of butterfly creatures beckon viewers to take a second look.
The bodies of these alluring insects are actually painted spray can caps and skulls, while the wings are authentic butterfly body parts, appearing in every shape and color.
D*Faceâs work is extremely varied, since he creates sculptures, traditional wall pieces, squadrons of grinning knives that hang from the ceiling and murals that sprawl across the sides of the building.
Itâs hard not to be entertained by the bright colors of his work, which contrast dramatically with the serious undertones of his obsession with death. D*Face both satirizes our cultural fear of death and reminds us that acquiring celebrity status isnât always as glamorous as we are led to believe.
âGoing Nowhere Fastâ will be on display at the Corey Helford Gallery until April 27 and anyone who appreciates clever pop art with a morbid twist should definitely check it out.