It has been almost a year since D-face visited with his spray paint. I thought it would be cool to take another look at that evening and post the video again. Here is the original story for those who never saw it. Skate- Ozzie
As a young kid in England, D-Face read Thrasher Magazine & would spend his time drawing & skateboarding. He loved the skateboard art of Pushead of Zorlac, Jim Phillips of Santa Cruz & Vernon Courtland Johnson of Powell Peralta. D-Face would see the graffiti artists of NYC & became fascinated by what they were doing in the underground subway trains. According to D-Face “Seen & Lee were two very influential artists in NYC during the late 1970s. They brought a real flair & talent to the graffiti pieces. Both were very advanced. I was deeply affected by them & thought that to do real graffiti art, I had to live in NYC. I started doing graffiti pieces in alleys in England. It was at this time that I started viewing the city differently. A blank wall suddenly became more than that. It was a canvas. It was a possibility.” He then told me that he started doing consumer graphics, but was quickly overcome by boredom. He started making stickers. Punk. Skating. Faces. Anarchy. It grew from there.
D-Face stretched expansively in the cool air-conditioned confines of the Ridiculous house. He had just been outside for the better part of three hours preparing for today’s art experiment. It was 101 degrees outside. He mopped his brow. “Damn. It really is hot here. I just arrived here from England & I think it’s warmer this time than the last that I came & painted.” I nodded & remarked that– after all–the last time he was here painting, it had been early November. He smiled & laughed. “I suppose you’re right.” D-Face was referring to November of 2009. He had flown into town & came by the Ridiculous house for a four day period. He had painted a ‘Skull Pile’ on the pools bottom. It was a macabre Conan-esque display of furious mayhem. I rode the pool once finished & I had a bit of trouble at first. It felt like all the skulls were looking at me! He had painted several different types of skulls & stacked them in obscene piles throughout the bowl. It was oddly unsettling.
D-Face described the ‘Skull Pile’ – “It didn’t mean anything, except what the particular individual saw in it… it’s not up to me to explain it.” His art is always that way for him. He completes his vision & leaves it up to the public what to make of it. He conceives of an idea & tries to envision it completely in his head. “I get frustrated when I can’t quite bring it to life the way I see it in my head.” D-Face has been exceedingly successful at transferring his mental imagery into a painted reality that is magnificent and–sometimes shocking. He knew that he was coming back to Ridiculous & wanted to do something fresh & different. “I could come back & paint something new in the pool, but it’s never going to be as good as the first time. I needed a new concept.”
“I thought of an interesting idea. This new idea was sprung from my last visit to the pool when I watched the skulls being smeared and stripped by the lines the skaters took. The tracks produced beautiful linear marks of past motion & it started me thinking how I could recreate this instantly. Watching the skaters ride through the pool, I wondered how it would be to attach paint to the boards & see the end result after each rider rode with a different color. I set the idea into motion. After all, it’s more about the concept than it is about the result. I could keep painting a certain thing… perfecting my technique, but would get bored. For me, art is about creation. Doing something new. Developing an idea. We still aren’t sure if it’ll work & that is the beauty of it.”
We went outside. It was terribly hot. D-Face & his friend Steve then showed Peter & I the apparatus they had developed for our use. They were made by a friend in the motion picture industry. It was a small aluminum box that attached to the underside of the skateboard between the trucks. It had a remote control handheld device that worked to spray the paint. The idea was to carve & ride through he pool, activating the spray paint as you wished. The weight of the device was a factor. It was bulky & low-hanging. Carve grinds would be nearly impossible. We wondered… we sat by the pool & thought. How would it work? Would it be slippery? Would the paint dry fast enough to continue riding & developing a line? It was an interesting idea.
We had prepared the pool the entire week before. It was white- a perfect flawless canvas. Peter King stated that nobody was to ride. “Not one run!” They wanted it to be documented from the start. We added new lights. All was prepared. Everything was ready & everyone arrived. It was time to start. The pool was bright white, especially in the afternoon sun. We thought it might be hard to see the transitions & tell depth perception. D-Face & Steve had set up the boards. 5 riders, 5 colors. It was Salba, Dave Reul, Kevin Burke, myself & pint-sized prodigy- Tristan Rennie. We stood around a bit. I don’t think that any of us knew what to think.
Salba pushed in. He let loose on the hand held remote & a vein of blood red paint trailed behind him. The ‘Line-Master’ flowed through the pool & left a textbook pathway: Poolriding 101. Tristan, Kevin & Reuler all flowed through the pool adding colorful lines & slowly criss-crossing over each others colors. The more we all rode, the more interesting it became. After a time, it became a slight task of linking & coloring in all the white areas… It looked like a gigantic psychotic magic marker battle. After several hours, it resembled some strange Spirograph & we used skateboards to produce geometric & almost mathematical curves throughout the pool. The more we rode, the more insane it became.
Night fell, as did the temperatures. The house grew crowded. Skaters & other friends arrived. The grill was fired up & the skating grew in intensity. D-Face & Steve sat up on the rooftop to survey the masterpiece of mayhem we had-collectively -created. D-Face smiled into the darkness & pointed to the shallow end below. “Look at how the colors flow & run together… its maddening yet not. There is a strange simplicity & perfection to it.” He looked at me. “Success. It worked. I always wanted to combine my love of skateboarding with my love of spray paint.” It looks like D-Face did exactly that. Thank you to Peter King for the video, MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie