I’ve been sitting excitedly on this for quite a while now, and finally I can say that Luc Price aka Cyclops’ first solo show is opening on October 15th at Black Rat Press and offer a few images. If you’re familiar with Cyclops’ work on the street, this show, Jesus Help Me Find My Proper Place, is going to be quite surprising in its content.
Here’s the press release which is worth a read if only for its slightly (unintentionally) funny exaggerations. But I suppose exaggeration and spin is the job of a press person.
This October, Black Rat Press presents ‘Jesus Help Me Find My Proper Place’ – a major London solo show by Lucas Price, also known as the acclaimed street artist Cyclops.
Heralded as a new star in the art world, the artist – whose familiar skeletal, giant toothed street art works with painting partner, Sweet Toof, can be seen in high profile spots all over the capital, and the world – will be exploring the fringes of society in a show which tackles narratives of homelessness, dereliction, madness, drugs and redemption.
The show marks Price’s ascension from a life on the streets to one of the UK’s bestselling artists from a graffiti background. Expelled at 15 for daubing the school with graffiti, he later experienced homelessness, drug addiction and jail on two continents. Five years after having kicked his addiction, Price’s much-lauded street and fine art has been recognised by critics, media and buyers the world over, and his works debuted to critical acclaim at auction last year, with pieces including Cease to Exist commanding £15K.
The new body of works on show in this exhibition feature the artist’s irreverent and often politically-loaded satire as well as visual commentary on society’s dark underbelly. Drawing from his personal experiences, the artist questions the ugliness that exists in society and demonstrates the beauty that can be found in even the most abject circumstances.
Price says: “All these references are alive to me. They have beauty within them – I’ve seen it first hand. The world is wrecked, but it’s still beautiful, and people are so dumb, arrogant, flawed, imperfect yet so capable of good, so full of potential, and that goes for everyone and everything. I’m lucky, so I suppose it’s my job to not forget and to show people how it can be.”
Featuring works on canvas and paper as well as a series of thought-provoking installations, this promises to be the most audacious debut show of the year. To underline the show’s narrative, Price has worked with Sweet Toof on a site-specific installation – a wake with a coffin bearing an effigy of one of his street art characters. Price says: “The way I see it, he’s dead and this is a new start.”
The show title Jesus Help Me Find My Proper Place is appropriated from the Velvet Underground track Jesus which has been re-interpreted by Price as a direct reference to his past and acknowledgement of his newfound acclaim. It is also one of the subversive slogans that appeared on a hard-hitting series of large-scale light boxes which the artist recently left outside high visibility sites including central London tube stations, police stations, art galleries and major advertising hotspots including Piccadilly Circus.
I think it’s fair to assume that this means Price is retiring his and Sweet Toof’s Lenny The High Roller character. This has got to show some maturity that few other street artists have. I could rattle of a list of half a dozen or more top tier street artists who have essentially been relying for years on the same image or character that made them famous and it get’s irritating, but Price doesn’t seem to want to rest on his laurels.
And finally, some pictures:
I really want to hear from Price what this painting is about, because it could be one of the most controversial pieces of street art this year (even more controversial than most of Banksy’s work for sure). I really like it.