If you don't know Lush, now you do! Love him or hate him.
Regardless his self-proclaimed suckiness, Lush, relatively new on the graffiti scene, is doing pretty well for himself. With his sardonic worldview reflected in his art, this Melbourne native's crass yet strangely endearing and oh-so-amusing graffiti is revitalizing the scene in a big way.
For subject matter, Lush prefers the shocking – nudity (cartoon or real life), cussing, bodily excretions and a penchant for the cult are all main themes that run through his body of work. And, while I’m 100% sure that this guy is absolutely insane, his I-don’t-give-shit attitude recalls the original sentiments of the earliest graffiti writers. The only difference now is that what once was shocking is now mainstream. Graffiti is becoming, if it is not already, an accepted art form. Simply writing on a wall doesn’t shock anyone anymore. Unless you’re reading Lush.
He pushes the limits of the accepted and injects into his graffiti so much perversity that the old shock value is reinstated. Face it, what could be more shocking than seeing giant female genitalia squirting out the word “Lush” (can you just imagine if you didn’t even know who or what Lush was?) or seeing giant bubble letters with penises attached? Lush’s point of view draws only two reactions: hysterical laughter or penultimate disgust.
Lush’s cavalier attitude extends to his views of his contemporaries as well. When not creating fancied up versions of bathroom stall graffiti, Lush hurls his wit (of which he has a lot) straight at other artists and at the street art scene itself. His scathing and sarcastic portrayal of artists like Banksy (his preferred target for the moment), Shepard Fairey and Revok questions the message, purpose and place of street art.
In his most recent exhibition in Los Angeles, for example, he concentrated heavily on modification of Banksy’s most recognizable pieces. In addition to Lush Sells Out in LA, Lush has also had solo exhibitions (Lush doesn’t seem one to do many collabos….well, unless it involves porn stars… but that was an exceptional case) in Australia and San Francisco. And, like any good artist, Lush is multitalented, producing drawings and videos that are possibly even funnier than his walls. These tongue-in-cheek drawings and videos are where Lush digs deep into his soul and pulls out some of the most hilarious mockery ever to be produced by a single human being.
The rather elusive Lush has few interviews out there, but from what I can divine, his aim is to be as balls-to-the-wall as possible, amusing his own self with his work as much as it amuses everyone else, as he shoots up to stardom (infamy? This remains to be seen…). Somehow he manages to take nothing seriously while sending some intensely poignant messages. Whether this was his intention when he first picked up a spray can or whether he was just another jaded artist who happened to give less of a fuck than all the rest, Lush will surely stay on as an influential force on the streets.