Lucas Price seems to be an artist in an ever changing state of evolution. His last major UK solo show Jesus Help Me Find My Proper Place suggested a level of confusion within its title – the work exhibited was produced in a variety of styles in an almost perfect allegory for his life as a fine artist under his own name, and also his street bombing alter ego of Cyclops.
The work in the accomplished exhibition suggested that the artist had been in a nine month long endeavour to find his fine-art voice and define an aesthetic he was comfortable with. Prior to that exhibition, everyone seemed to want a piece of Lucas after he had strong results at auction, which is something he continues to do now – his recent work in the January Bonhams auction sold for way in excess of the estimate.
AM arranged to go and visit Lucas’ studio at the Royal College of Art in Battersea where he is currently studying for his Fine Art Masters degree. This was a somewhat different studio visit experience for us – sometimes we see the lone artist working in isolation, sometimes sharing studio space with other creatives, but at the RCA, here we have a pretty unique environment for an established artist to be working within.
Read on for more words and pictures after the jump.
The Sackler building contains studio space for over 50 MFA students, divided up like a kind of creative cubicle farm. The new roof over the space is designed with northlights to provide an elegant mixture of diffused natural and artificial lighting throughout the building’s flexible footprint.
Second year students get a larger space than the freshmen, and we found it interesting to hear that the current intake of students are involved in the applications panel for the next wave of incomers. This way, a spread of creative ideas can be maintained throughout the course so that the overlap of artistic and conceptual ideas is managed and kept in balance.
Lucas’ studio contains a variety of working ideas and principals. Perhaps the first clue to who inhabits his cubicle is the toofy skeleton guarding entry to his area. Step inside though, and this is where the Burning Candy connection ends. Work is strewn across the floor, over the walls and stacked up around the perimeter of the space. It is immediately apparent that Lucas’ creative mind is in a non-stop overdrive.
Collage, paintings, experimental screenprinting, sketches and doodles are all around, as are all the usual tools of the trade. We discussed with Luc how he manages to balance his artistic outputs between the Masters degree, gallery obligations, commercial endeavours and of course his output on the street. Think how prolific the BC crew have been over the last few years, and how much that output has slowed down since September 2010 (when the MFA started). There’s your first clue….
Gallery activities have been minimised, whilst still maintaining his involvement in a variety of group shows. Lucrative commercial opportunities have been rejected – all in the name of Lucas’ dedication to the MFA. We admire the focus that Lucas has assigned to the completion of his Masters degree. One thing is for certain, and this studio visit made it clear for us, is that there is a brilliant creative mind at work here. The flexibility demonstrated in his practice, and the dexterity used within all of the artistic oeuvres he has evolved illustrate that there is an underlying harmony throughout his work.
Visiting with Lucas also confirmed that there is no absolutely no confusion when it comes to his dedication of the pursuit of his continual development as a fine artist. This does indeed seem to be Lucas Price’s ‘Proper Place’.