Live From New York, It's D*Face's Billboard
British street artist D*Face and a pair of assistants hovered in a raised crane above 49th and Broadway earlier this week, completing a 5,472 square-foot billboard for NBC Sports. The supersize illustration advertises the 2013 English Premier League season that will be broadcast on the channel beginning Saturday, August 17.
"My work is loosely based on Pop Art and its references – it's something I've always been inspired by since I was a kid – so when I was asked to do this football-based commission, I went with the idea of something explosive, like the power of a kick," D*Face explained, describing his "aPOPcalyptic" aesthetic. "I've always liked Lichtenstein's 'Whaam!' canvas, but as far as inspiration goes, it's quite static. I tried to bring in more explosion, power, and emphasis."
D*Face took two days to create a rough sketch and another four to draw it out graphically. Though he's used to doing "whatever the hell" he likes "most of the time," he appreciated the structure of a brief. "It's interesting to be told, 'It needs to represent this, but in your way.' "
His billboard (probably) won't be touched by stray spray painters; however D*Face calls the transience of street art "something you learn to love and live with."
"After I put something in the street, it's not mine anymore – it's the public's," he remarked. "Part of it is nature. There's the sun baking it, the rain hitting it, the weather aging it, and I love that. Then, you have other artists who like or dislike what you do, and part of graffiti is going over other people's work. Weird as it may seem, that adds another interesting element to it. I love seeing a doorway that's been tagged and tagged – you get these layers that can't be replicated and I find there's a real beauty in it."
But, he added, "it is disheartening that you spend a lot of time painting something, and someone comes over and spends five minutes going over it. That's just the way it is."
Photographer: Peter Kerjen