A.CE is a street artist with over two decades experience. His art has been featured in a number of notable street art books and he has exhibited all over the world, including New York, Tokyo and London. Stussy, Reebok and Comme Des Garcons have all commissioned him to create work for their brand. So who is A.CE, and what is his work about?
Born and bred in London, if you travel across the city it is likely you will see the signature bold letters of ‘A.CE’ accompanied by, what I like to think of as artistic vandalism on commercial images. They are his own transient mark on an ever-changing city, and it is a testament to his artistic mastery that he is still as in-demand as ever.
Throughout A.CE’s career he has followed a DIY approach, perhaps picked up from his deep love and fascination of skateboard culture. He started off producing hand-drawn stickers before progressing to paste-ups and screen prints. Screen prints were made famous as an art form through Andy Warhol and the Pop art movement and A.CE has cited their influence on his work. The inclusion of commercial images and symbols further connects their work. However, though A.CE references and reveals his influences, there is a continuous rebellious and anarchist feel to his work.
A.CE likes to disrupt and challenge what he sees through a literal attack on the image. A black and white news reel image is fused with Donald Duck’s angry stare, while a singing figure’s mouth erupt with roses and polka dots.
This complex combination of commercial imagery with artistic manipulation results in beautiful and perplexing images. A.CE described his work as a, “visual remix of sampled imagery," and this results in an unusual experience for the viewer. We simultaneously feel we understand and are perplexed by his work. At first there is a sense of familiarity. We have a fixed meaning or past association with the found images that make up the base of the image. This is then taken and combined with text, images and symbols from a variety of sources that create an ambiguity and mystery to his work. Examples of the text that can be found in his work illustrate this, with: “A.CE in Wonderland”, and “The Mystery Suitcase”.
I believe he is trying to put a bit of wonderland into the everyday. Using the mundane objects, familiar cartoon characters and injecting a bit of fantasy reflects his identity as a street artist. His work can be found on walls and skate parks, places that thousands of Londoners will walk past every day. Images that create mystery in the mundane, and surprise on the street.
You can find A.CE's postcards on show at The Other Art Fair Bristol, and the pieces will be available to buy at our Secret Auction on July 29th. You can bid both online and at the fair.
About the Writer
Isabel Casey I’m a History of Art graduate from the University of Manchester, currently pursuing a career in the contemporary art world. In my free time I venture around London visiting new exhibitions to inspire my own artistic practise.