Thursday night saw the opening of Luc Price’s “Jesus Help Me Find My Proper Place” show at The Black Rat Press gallery in London. Taking a major departure from his previous paintings and collages, and ditching his street art name of Cyclops, Luc has created a major installation for this show that offers an intimate glimpse into his provocative views on life, death and everything in between. Not a conventional or easy show by any means, but it’s good to see an artist pushing himself and trying something very different.
We had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Luc…Â Enjoy our opening pics as well as see what he had to say after the jump.
Arrested Motion (AM): Congratulations on the new show “Jesus Help Me Find My Proper Place.” Where does the title come from?
Luc Price (LP): The title comes from a Velvet Underground song, “Jesus.” It just made me happy, and is a namecheck, or a shout out in the old school way of things…. the Velvets dude.
AM: This sounds like a really brave show and a big departure from your previous paintings and collages. Can you tell us how you approached and developed the work and the new techniques/media you’re exploring?
LP: At the beginning of the year, I spoke with Cept and watched some footage of David Lynch, then I got on with it. They both offered me good advice on how to go ahead. I was conscious that I wanted to try some new stuff out, to learn.
Then, I just set about working out what I wanted to say and how best to say it. It’s like just because I haven’t done it before – what difference does that make? But, it almost does I think. People expect certain things of you. But for me, it’s just the case that I haven’t done these things yet. Like I haven’t made a film yet, I haven’t made a triple concept LP yet, but they are in there somewhere.
The more I think about it, the more the show feels like a film that’s been broken down into pieces. I think that’s the way I see things, in a filmic way anyway. And then just trying to keep a hold of that moment, that drama or dislocation. I use anything that will get across what it is needs to get out..
AM: One of the things we love about large scale installations is the way they give the freedom to artists to create their own unique and sometimes very personal worlds and I know that you’ve experienced some difficult periods if your own life. How do you feel about your past feeding into your work and are there any particular events that you’ve drawn on to create this show?
LP: Just in a downbeat melancholy way. I like the way they used to say beat, Kerouac and that crew. I think I’ve seen that saintly batteredness in people, eyes shiny with crack… it’s that rather than a direct reference, it’s not like Emin’s tent or whatever.
AM: What are the other influences for this show?
LP: From all over the place… my son Ren, Cady Noland, street gangs, stupid handstyles, all Burning Candy, killer squat raves, Earth, Electric Wizard, the number stations. I liked Dash Snow’s stuff, Sacer… I felt odd when he died somehow, so that made it’s way in there. I named one of the pieces after him and then what else? EBay, dude. Almost this whole show is made from eBay and junk I found in Paris or second hand shops.
AM: I’m really interested in the use of writing in art and the power of words as opposed to the power of images and was intrigued by the text light boxes you’ve been placing around London. What was the response to these works and was it what you expected?
LP: I’m not really sure, we were kind of in and out, so the response is… I’m not sure. But in the future I would definitely like to make a project that involves people, so anyone can just put what they want on there, I think that would be fun.
AM: I hear you had a trip to India earlier this year with Sweet Toof as the Burning Candy Crew and got some work up on the streets there working with local signwriters etc. From what I’ve seen, it looked like an amazing trip with some really interesting results. Can you tell us more about this trip and your interactions with the local community? Any photos you can share would be brilliant…
LP: India was awesome, I want to go back. We made a film I think? I’m still unsure. But, we went to Mumbai then down to Tamil Nadu, and spent most of time looking for signwriters – the Bollywood film poster dudes. In the end, we found one, called Murgan. He was so hardcore. He looked like he could tear your arm out, change your oil and catch a wild animal with his bare hands. And, I think he probably could, but he could also pump out amazing, 3 story photo realist paintings too. So we did a piece with him on the street. I’d really like to go back and do more.
AM: Are you still putting up paintings on the streets?
AM: What’s inspiring you at the moment?
LP: Espo, Gold Peg, 35mm, the music of the band Earth
AM: What’s worrying you at the moment?
LP: Where I’m going to crash tonight, I hate sofa surfing.
AM: Thanks for you time and good luck with the show.