The neckface page on fotolog, which I haven’t checked in over a year, is now up to 26 archived pages of neckface recording his graffiti. And he even seems to have deleted some of it since the fotolog entries from before last summer are no longer there.
I predict his fame is about to rise since he has a gallery show coming up which I read about in THE FRIGGING NEW YORKER! At which point it may be obligatory to say “I have known him long before the New Yorker article and always thought his graffiti sucked” which I will not say. Rather I give a hearty “well-done Mr Neckface, barely old enough to vote and already in Talk of the Town.”
Below is the New Yorker neckface article from the April 5, 2004 issue.
Talk of the Town, Stealth Department: Neck Face by Dana Goodyear
For the past year and a half; a mischievous presence has been asserting itself on the city Is street lamps doorways traffic-light-control boxes, and any other visible surface that it is in no one's interest to monitor or clean too diligently: drawings of snaggletoothed monsters and hairy limbs with sharpened nails, and oblique yet strangely pointed phrases such as Beat with the ugly stick." These images are of ten signed "Neck Face," in angular capital letters that look like the work of an angry toddler or of Danny Torrance in "The Shining
Neck Face is nineteen, little and shy,
with black eves and brows, and fanglike teeth of his own. He -,,,,cars a parka with two thick paint markers-silver and black, "the Oakland Raiders combo" zipped into the upper packet, a pair of black high-tops tightened to "sprint mode," and an air of nonchalant alertness: he is always on the lookout for "neighborhood heroes." He is cagey
about his identity: "It's like Batman, you know? No one knew who he was." Marsea Goldbcrg, who has a gallery in Los Angeles and last month displayed same of Neck Face's drawings-vampires in hot-pink cloaks; devilish people saying "You nasty" to each other-said, "He looks like a cross between Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger I He has this whole following of really cute young girls writing `I (heart) Neck Face' throughout the subways Goldberg said that on the final day of the show the musician Beck cane in and bought five Neck Faces.
On a recent Saturday, Neck Face came in to Manhattan from Brooklyn, where he is currently staying on a friend's couch (hence the mushrooming presence of goblins in that borough), to walk around the East Twenties, the neighborhood where tic got his start. On Lexington below Twenty-sixth Street, he pointed to a door where he had drawn a bubble head with baggy eyes and a discombobulated mouth. "I like messed-up teeth," he said. Every other person draws stuff with good teeth. I've got fillings in every single tooth." He opened his mouth and revealed a
metal armature. "I cat a lot of candy" At the corner of Twenty-third and Lex, he saw a scrawl on the side of a deli that said, "Fuck Neck Face." "Someone told me about that," he said. "That sucks." He walked past a newsstand where he had designed an elaborate frieze: a bristly arm, a snake eating a heart, a mouth with "Neck Face" spelled out on each tooth, and the words "God Owes Me Money ("He owes me five dollars," Neck Face said.) On Second Avenue, he saw a cobbler's sign with a rendering of a sharp stiletto, under which he'd drawn the pinned figure of a man. He chuckled ("I Heh-heh") and said, "A guy getting stabbed with a high heel."
Neck Face is trying not to do too much graffiti these days-he has exhibitions coming up in San Francisco and London, and doesn't want to jeopardize them by getting caught-but at Seventh Street he saw something irresistible: a clear plastic panel swinging from the side of a phone booth. He glanced around quickly and signed his name. A few paces along, he stopped at a red door. Heh-heh. With his back to the door to look more casual, he drew an open mouth with short lines for teeth, a wishbone-like nose, and bead y eyes, and wrote "Neck Face is tyly' underneath. At Third Street, there was a dcli With a mechanical horse outside. "It'd be cool to write on that horse," he said, almost wistful;; and signed his name in black on its white flank. Heh-heh.
There is an immediacy to Neck Face's work and, though he is in art school, not much room for introspection. He doesn't know what Neck Face means. "I thought of it junior year of high school," he said. (Neck Face grew up an hour from San Francisco His father has a tire shop, and one of Neck Face's favorite mediums is Mean Streaks, white grease pencils that are used for marking tires.) Many of Neck 'Face's relatives live in Mexicali,Mexico, and Goldberg, the gallerist, sees the influence of Mexican folk art. Neck Face shrugged, and said, "My brothers'-there are three of them-"all draw scary stuff. Not like perfectly rendered people-monsters and stuff. I grew up with cartoons." He allowed that he admires Edward Gorey and, especiallv; Charles Addams. "He's my favorite," Neck Face said. "It's, like, the stuff that people are afraid to laugh at."