A.CE’s wheatpastes represent the best of Saturday morning cartoons you once loved (and probably still do). Goofy, Donald Duck, and Tom of Tom and Jerry fame all feature prominently in his work. Mixing cartoon characters with commercial icons, A.CE creates social commentary that’s still suitable for all ages.Back in 1995, this Londoner started out as a tagger with many names. He responded to Ouzi, Evols, Acer, and Acme before becoming A.CE in 1998. “I would tag and do mini pieces on Royal Mail stickers,” he recalls. “Mostly, I would do stencils as kind of a nod to skate stickers and the other writers’ stickers I was seeing around the place.” When he became comfortable with the medium, Ace upped the ante and moved on to larger wheatpaste designs.
Since his early tagging days, A.CE has pasted his signature designs around London for the past 10 years. However, he doesn’t keep track of where he pastes. “Documenting my work was never important to me,” he insists. “I like hitting up any new spot that I haven’t gotten up to be fore.” Instead, getting up for A.CE is all about placement. “Location is key if you want people to see your work,” he explains, “and you can usually get a good idea of how much longevity your piece will have there. Selecting a good spot in order to create a good juxtaposition with your work, like in an old weathered doorway, is always important to me. A piece can be ruined by putting it in a crap spot.”
When A.CE goes out bombing, he says, “It’s just me, the bike, and a full bag! I don’t think there’s too much to gain from putting up work with someone else. It’s all over pretty quick and I don’t like to fight over spots!” On occasion, he and friend Bivouac tag team. “He’s a good mate and hugely talented,” he adds. “We were actually born on the same day. Brothers from different mothers!”
Currently, A.CE can be found painting in the studio or “fucking about” on Photoshop. “I’m always trying to improve my output while making stuff that I like. Aesthetic is more important to me than any concept. It’s all about the process of printing stuff up and banging it out there.”
Quality is important to A.CE; he doesn’t believe in churning out work. “Money and attention is responsible for taking a lot of the best street artists from us into the safety of the galleries,” he laments. “It is also attracting a lot of weak work by people chasing that same fame and fortune. Ultimately, you start seeing people doing this for the wrong reasons. In the future, I think street artists are going to need to adopt much more of a ‘graffiti writer’ mentality in order to survive out there.”
All photos courtesy of A.CE. For more info, check out his MySpace.
Hope you all have a great weekend! In the States, I'll be celebrating Memorial Day on the beach for the first time this year. If the weather holds up, I might take the first plunge of the season. Enjoy the break and I'll catch you on Monday! NOTE: To all my Facebook/MySpace readers who link to my blog through those sites, I won't be posting a link on Monday. You're on your own for a second, but I'll be back to it on Tuesday.