People in Shoreditch have expressed mixed feelings about the latest work of street artist D*Face, which was itself vandalised shortly after it was completed.
The artist, whose real name is Dean Stockton, created the monumental mural, called Guilty Pleasures, believed to be the largest outdoor work in London, on Commercial Street near Spitalfields market.It is 30 by 26 metres.
Ross Fletcher, 24, a hairdresser from Shoreditch said: “It is pathetic and a shame that the piece of art was so quickly defaced under the cover of darkness. If anyone thinks graffiti is also art, why not do it on a fresh wall space instead of mounting it on other people’s work?” Fletcher added: “Rather than the art helping local businesses, it was the local businesses that had been calling attention to the art works that abound in this neighborhood.
A 35 year old resident of East London and a writer on Street art, who wanted to be known as ‘Si, said: “ I love this art work by D*Face, it is a nice pop-up, one of the best piece I have seen this year. It has brought a lot of people to this area within this short time, which would help local business like coffee shops. However, I feel there is no problem that someone else had put theirs on the same wall space, it is a London thing, you are free to be who you want to be”.
‘Sammy’ manager of “The Coffee Cup”, a nearby cafe, told ELL: “It is weird. Though the painting is just a few metres away from my shop, I didn’t notice it until a friend told me that it was in the newspaper. That prompted me to have an appreciative look at it, suddenly, over the weekend, there was another painting or writings on it. That tells you that there is a struggle over who controls the street wall. I think the government should do something about this. It is not right that anyone is free to put up things on another person’s property without approval, and that goes to all artists. Something is surely brewing”.
Anthony Mulroy, 34, a male nurse and a part-time photographer said: “ The painting is a very good one but it takes an early shot to get the real thing. Having graffiti on it is a distraction and in a way, calls attention to it”.
“D*Face” is a multimedia street artist who grew up in London and had a childhood interest in graffiti. Later as a teenager, his skateboard deck graphics led the interest in stickers and the DIY mentality associated with skate and punk fanzines. He attended an illustration and design course and worked as a freelance illustrator/designer.
He held his first major London solo exhibition, Death & Glory, at the Stolenspace gallery in October 2006, then, Eyecons, at O Contemporary in Brighton in March 2007. D*Face had been active for the past 15 years with several shows in galleries from New York to Los Angeles and Tokyo, specialising in re-working comic books and advertisements.