Murals painted in cities around the world portray cartoonish images from the mind of the artist known as D*Face. But most paintings have deeper meanings than what first meets the eyes.
From statements on people’s desire for overconsumption to messages about mental health, this artist has his fingers on the pulse of society. It’s hard not to feel something when viewing his art.
We’re delving into the world of an artist with signature wings on colorful cartoon figures.
Let’s hit it!
The Story of D*Face
London-born artist and muralist Dean Stockton has a lot to say through his artwork. Born in 1978, he gained an early appreciation for graffiti as a teenager. But his first venture into the creative world was through photography. He thought that would be his way into the art field.
While Stockton, known better as D*Face, enjoyed photography, he found illustration was more up his alley. So he began designing stickers. He stuck his illustrated work on anything he could find throughout the streets of London.
Eventually, D*Face’s passion led him to open an art gallery in London in 2005. StolenSpace still exists today, displaying artwork from established and up-and-coming artists.
Considered one of the United Kingdom’s most prolific Urban Contemporary artists, D*Face often uses identifiable cultural icons in his art. Additionally, he paints images depicting society’s obsession with currency, overconsumption, fame, and materialism.
Stockton’s large murals painted on buildings all over the Earth are often colorful and reminiscent of comic strips. And he’s also produced artwork for well-known musicians. Christina Aguilera’s 2010 album Bionic is one such piece.
Since 2001, D*Face has participated in numerous solo and group shows worldwide, including in the United States, Spain, and Norway.
What Influences D*Face’s Art?
At age 15, D*Face discovered photographer Henry Chalfant’s coverage of New York City’s subway graffiti art. Additionally, the US skateboard, punk, and hip-hop culture influenced some of Stockton’s earliest artwork.
One of his biggest influences was American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. His tongue-in-cheek comic strip-style art is an obvious inspiration to many of D*Face’s global murals today.
5 Best D*Face Paintings
It wasn’t easy to narrow down to just five paintings from D*Face. But we did our best to pick the ones we felt highlight this artist’s unique style.
#1 Blue For You
The upscale city of Beverly Hills, California, may not be most people’s guess of where they’d see one of D*face’s murals. But that’s precisely where you can view this beautiful piece of art. Painted in August 2022, it’s officially Beverly Hills’ first public mural.
Blue For You features a blue-skinned woman with flowing turquoise hair lying on her stomach, looking out at the viewer. The background appears to be nightfall, with a full moon above and a purple sky. The piece is one of D*Face’s many comic strip-style murals.
With full approval from the city government, Stockton painted Blue For You to promote his exhibition at the Corey Helford Gallery. How long the mural will remain is the real question. If you’re near the area, you might want to check it out sooner rather than later.
#2 Another Bad Hair Day
Inspired by the mythological Greek figure Medusa, D*Face painted this very colorful mural in Patras, Greece. One of Stockton’s signature images in his artwork is tiny wings attached to people’s heads or other figures. In this case, we see winged cartoon snakes.
In addition to this painting, D*Face created smaller murals throughout the city, linking people to the main piece. It’s like a connect-the-dot game he designed for anyone willing to play.
#3 Love Struck
Painted in 2016 on a wall facing Interstate 10 in Los Angeles, California, this one’s hard to miss. While it took some significant actions by D*Face and an assistant to construct this painting, the final product was worth the hassle.
The piece features a pretty winged lady with long purple hair looking over her right shoulder at the word Love. A cartoon hand pops out of a bullet with a pink flower for the woman.
From recent comments on D*Face’s Instagram post for this image, it appears the mural is still up for all to see. Drivers are indeed love-struck by this piece as they cruise by it on the highway.
#4 Undead Head No. 3
While we couldn’t find many details about the background for this piece, it’s one of our favorites from D*Face. Something about it reminds us a bit of the old cartoon Speed Racer.
Here we see the face of a woman with green skin wearing a racing helmet with the artist’s signature wings. A sticker reading Freerollin’ is visible on the headgear. For unknown reasons, tears are welling up in her eyes.
Stockton used emulsion and spray paint on a birchwood panel to create Undead Head No. 3. It was one of several pieces included in an exhibit at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles.
We’re happy to announce we obtained this D*Face original to include in our Instagram Outside Folk Art Gallery collection.
#5 Hope Ahead
This powerful piece brings up so many emotions. A digital painting, Hope Ahead, features a male figure carrying a limp, almost lifeless man across a body of water. A full moon shines down on them with little winged figures, possibly spirits, seemingly falling out of the man being carried.
Men’s mental health is an important issue for D*Face. He created this piece in 2020. On the Instagram post for Hope Ahead, Stockton wrote, “Tough times like these demand that we look out for one another, and carry each other through, leaving no man behind.”
D*Face Sends Messages to Those Who Can See Them
Upon first viewing D*Face’s paintings, they may seem like innocent colorful cartoon images. But once you look deeper, most of his artwork has a meaningful message. And we didn’t even get into his pieces speaking to societal gluttony!
Do you have a favorite D*Face painting? Let us know about it in the comments below.
Outside Folk Gallery
You can explore folk, street, and outsider art in our personal collection at Outside Folk Art. We’re celebrating these creatives and giving voice to rising black, Native, immigrant, and working mother artisans.
We’ll also be offering pop-up shows and collaborations with small museums, so be sure to follow us to discover the where and when!