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Six degrees

Mark Peters

 

D*Face, the contemporary urban artist - some of whose work can currently be seen as part of the "Trailblazers" exhibition at the Above Second gallery, in Sai Ying Pun - recently redecorated Christmas trees discarded on the streets of London by adding eye baubles and tinsel frowns to bare and lifeless branches. With his "aPOPcalyptic" manifesto and subversive, punkish style, D*Face has been touted as the next Banksy …

The pseudonymous graffiti artist is widely known for his distinctive stencilled works of vaguely anti-establishment art, despite very few people knowing his true identity. Relying on iconography and visual imagery, his high-profile public compositions are infused with black humour. After climbing into the penguin enclosure at London Zoo, he painted "We're bored of fish" in seven-foot-high letters. But not everyone is a fan. "His work looks dazzlingly clever to idiots" was the verdict, in his column in The Guardian, of the ever-sardonic Charlie Brooker …

The acerbic writer and broadcaster showed a softer side in 2011, when he posted online the short video Charlie Brooker is (un)appealing, in support of the charity Anthony Nolan. Brooker joined the bone-marrow-donor register after hearing about a bucket list made by Alice Pyne, a teenager with terminal leukaemia. In 2000, Brooker was a writer on the late-night television comedy The 11 O'Clock Show, which launched the careers of both Ricky Gervais and comedic actor Sacha Baron Cohen …

The creator of Borat and The Dictator is currently developing The Lesbian, a movie based on Hong Kong's very own Cecil Chao Sze-tsung . Inspired by the tycoon's offer of HK$500 million to any man who succeeded in marrying his gay daughter, the former Ali G is expected to portray the billionaire with his usual gusto. Baron Cohen's flamboyant alter ego Bruno made a dramatic entrance to the 2009 MTV Movie Awards by falling from the sky (barely) dressed as an angel and landing on "horrified" rapper Eminem …

In 2005, Marshall Bruce Mathers III ranked 58th, 57 places behind filmmaker Michael Moore, in Bernard Goldberg's book 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. In an interview, the Detroit rapper, a friend of Elton John, responded: "I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable if they want." Eminem sparked a celebrity firestorm after the lyrics to his hit The Real Slim Shady insinuated sexual relations had occurred between tattooed rocker Fred Durst and pop princess Christina Aguilera …

Last year, the Genie in a Bottle singer was honoured by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her philanthropic work as a United Nations goodwill ambassador for the World Food Programme. Together with American businessman David Novak, Aguilera was awarded the 2012 George McGovern Leadership Award for their fight against global hunger, having raised US$115 million. For her sixth studio album, Bionic, the tabloid-enthralling Aguilera collaborated on the cover design with street artist Dean Stockton, aka D*Face.

 

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