Neck Face

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Neck Face
Neckface Allen Street.jpg
Neckface art work
Born1984
NationalityUnited States
Alma materSchool of Visual Arts (SVA)
StyleGraffiti

Neck Face (born 1984 in Stockton, California) is an anonymous graffiti artist. He is known for his frightening drawing style and humorous writings.[1][2] His works have been shown in Art Galleries around the world and much like Banksy his work appears guerrilla style on the streets.

Biography[edit]

Neck Face grew up in a large family being the second youngest out of a total of five brothers and for a time lived in Mexico.[3] Two of his brothers ran a graffiti shop where he spent a lot of time.[4] The rest of his brothers worked at his father's tire shop.[5] He began tagging in Stockton, California during his junior year in high school. From 1998 to 2002, Neck Face attended Bear Creek High School and Tokay High School. Neck Face claims he gained most of his art knowledge during elementary school, saying, "I think I learned more in school in the earlier years than the later years. I think if you are a teacher, you should teach the kid as much as you can in the beginning years of school."[6] He gained notoriety through his self-made stickers throughout nearby towns of Stockton and Lodi, California, where his works first showed up on public objects.[7] Later, as his graffiti techniques evolved, his work spread to San Francisco, where his name can still be seen on many newspaper stands and walls throughout the city.[2] While attending high school Neck Face thought that he could never go to post-secondary school with his low SAT scores but the girlfriend of one of his brothers told him he could apply to Art Universities.[8] Stunned at this news he applied to two universities, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California and School of Visual Arts (SVA) in Manhattan, New York. He applied to these two as they only looked at portfolios not SAT scores.[8] In 2002 he started at SVA and attended for two years before dropping out.[7][1] The attention Neck Face received from his street work allowed him to move his work off the streets and into the art galleries. Galleries that have shown his artwork include the New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles, the Luggage Store in San Francisco, One Grand Gallery in Portland, the Dactyl Foundation in New York, and the OHWOW Gallery in Miami.[7] Neck Face has been compared to Banksy, and described as "generally superfamous in the cool parts of the art world."[9]

Artwork[edit]

Neck Face tag on My Old Lady storefront
Neck face piece on a van

Neck Face's first gallery show was when he was 18-years-old and was sponsored by Rich Jacobs and held at New Image Art gallery in West Hollywood, California.[10] Neck Face's style can be described as naïve and scratchy.[11] His themes have a bloody, violent and medieval feel to them.[11] Obvious influences are heavy metal and latrinalia.[2][1] Gallery works follow Neck Face's familiar style but are not limited to drawings and paintings, shows have included sharp metal masks, felt installations, and sculptures.[2] In an interview on Epicly Later'd, Neck Face describes using watercolors in his artwork as "I get the watercolor and then I just f*#k it up". In this same interview, he acknowledges King Diamond as a major influence.

One public art piece appropriated the sign on an abandoned storefront of "My Old Lady" in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood; he painted under that "...♥'s Neck Face". In 2005, to the displeasure of nearby residents and building superintendents, his work was prominently visible from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.[12] In 2011 Neck Face visited Bangkok, Thailand to do graffiti in the street.

In addition to appearing across billboards and buildings in the United States, Neck Face's work can be seen internationally in places such as Melbourne, Sydney, Copenhagen, and Tokyo.[11]

Commercial projects[edit]

His first skateboard art was for famous skateboarder Mark Gonzales. He approached a then 18-year-old Neck Face in New York and asked him to provide a design for a Krooked board.[13] After his first board with Gonzales he was introduced to Kevin 'Spanky' Long and started to create boards for him and the Baker skateboard brand. He would later put Spanky in the hospital after lighting him on fire.[13]

As a skateboarder himself, Neck Face has helped design for Baker Skateboards, and is the Art Director for Baker Skateboards.[7] Neck Face has also collaborated with Vans, Stüssy and Altamont Apparel.[11]

There is an all-access documentary featuring Neck Face in the works that started as a long-term project in 2005 by director Ty Evans. It as yet has no expected release date.[14]

Exhibitions of his artwork[edit]

One of two giant Neck Face tags on the rooftops of Gowanus. You can see these as the F train goes outside in Brooklyn
  • 2012 Neck Face "A Deal with the Devil", One Grand Gallery in Portland, OR
  • 2012 Neck Face "Simply the Worst", New Image Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA
  • 2010 Neck Face Into Darkness, OHWOW Los Angeles[11]
  • 2009 Neck Face "Return to the Womb," V1 Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2009 Neck Face at OHWOW, Miami, Florida in October
  • 2007 Closed casket, Dactyl Foundation, New York, USA (solo)
  • 2007 Rehearsal for death, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark (with Weirdo Dave)
  • 2006 The Night After Halloween, New Image Art Gallery, West Hollywood, USA (solo)
  • 2005 Monster Children, Sydney, Australia (solo)
  • 2005 DPMHI, London, U.K. (solo)
  • 2004 Witch Hunt, New Image Art Gallery, West Hollywood, USA (solo)

Published books[edit]

  • Neck Face (2004). Neck Face: Satan's Bride!!!. KAWS.
  • Neck Face (2010). Neck Face: The Devil Made Me Do It!!!. OHWOW.- Total pages: 156

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Notes

References

External links[edit]