It’s all in the eyes

By Cristina da Costa Brookes, in Art · 23-12-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Street artist D*face has made his first debut in Lisbon with his pandemic inspired mural entitled “it’s all in the eyes” at Parque das Nações. I have been lucky enough to speak with the very talented artist about his eye-catching piece and future plans in relation to Portugal.

He was initially unsure of how to approach the concrete canvas but became inspired by its location opposite Lisbon’s central bus station which represented the meeting of all different kinds of people. He wanted to reflect his values in the work such as not judging the person opposite you until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Something that’s even harder to do when everyone’s wearing masks and only their eyes are revealed. He also wanted it to act as a tapestry to represent a tumultuous year looking back but also towards a positive future.

This English artist has always been passionate about art which was sparked from his childhood, but he was particularly interested in skateboard graphics, graffiti and designing record sleeves, which “at the time was not considered art” and therefore it “took a long time and a lot of meandering through education to actually follow the path he was actually most passionate about”.

We talked about one of his first jobs as a designer and illustrator, which he said “paid the bills and was not a bad career but was not what he was truly passionate about at any length, so he always worked on his own art on the side.” What really inspired this young artist was the freedom he had to explore something that had no client and no brief and to simply use his own imagination, which lead him to putting his art onto the streets in the early 2000’s, as there was really a free terrain in East London at the time.

A DIGITAL TOUR - D*FACE

Urban art, which did not have a name at the time, was different to graffiti but still associated with graffiti and this art movement really started to gain real momentum in 2002/2003 which was when there started to be more interest in his work and he decided to focus on his career as he “realised he had to commit to one”. This has led D*face to complete 90 murals worldwide and being on the cover of the incredibly respected art publication art review, front cover for penguin and doing the album art cover for blink 182’s album California.

I asked him what would actually be the highlight of his career and he told me that “painting at a school in Miami and the way in which his art has inspired and turned that school around has been the most rewarding” and “seeing that school develop as it is a tough area and there are a lot of underprivileged children and they now have an art department and he loves what his commission has done for the area. Showing children that you care makes all the difference as now they pay attention and it has paved a bright future for the children that attend that school and that to me is more inspirational than any piece I’ve done.”

Looking ahead, he hopes to return to Portugal and paint another mural and a sculpture in Lisbon in 2021. He is “very much hoping to expand [his] body of work into sculptures and push himself as he finds going from 2D to 3D really intriguing”. He hopes that moving into something permanent like sculptures and interacting with the public and seeing their reaction is what really inspires him and he hopes to show that “art is for everyone”. He also has further plans to do a museum show in Spain and some other big projects that are still under wraps so there’s definitely a lot to look forward to from this inspiring artist.



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