Lushsux

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A mural with Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump in Vienna

Lushsux is an anonymous Australian street artist whose works have received international coverage. Based in Melbourne, he is best known for his large murals that draw on internet meme culture, as well as popular culture more broadly. He has been called "the prototypical post-Internet artist"[1] and "Australia's answer to Banksy".[2]

Biography[edit]

Lushsux stated that he grew up in a working-class family in the western suburbs of Melbourne, and worked in a factory before becoming a full-time artist. Since his first gallery show in Collingwood in 2010, Lushsux has been supported by Sarah Powell and Andrew King, patrons of the Melbourne street art scene.[3]

NFTs[edit]

Lushsux has been selling NFTs of his artworks since 2021.[4] His art has been auctioned in various platforms, including Nifty Gateway, SuperRare and MakersPlace. His art was exhibited at "DART2121" in Milan[5] and at Art Basel 2021 in Miami, in collaboration with auction house Christie's.[6]

Controversies[edit]

In August 2016, he created a mural in Footscray of a skimpily-dressed Hillary Clinton. After the local council received complaints from members of the public, Lushsux painted a burqa over Clinton.[7]

Special criticism has been made of Lushsux's interventions in the West Bank separation barrier in Bethlehem.[8][9] His art in the wall has been criticized for trying to make fun of a serious issue, spreading many meme-like images and humorous scenes over the separation wall.[10] In one controversial scene, he uses a Nelson Mandela quote in a mural depicting actor Morgan Freeman, which has been considered to potentially express the racist stereotype that Black people supposedly look the same.[11] His painting of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu kissing has been accused of trying to use homophobic humor, while his representations of Jewish stereotypes have been considered antisemitic.[11]

In September 2018 he angered 50 Cent with a mural of him.[12] In October 2018 he parodied Kanye West and Donald Trump's friendship by creating the character "Donye West". In March 2019 he parodied Anderson "The Spider" Silva showing him dressed as Spider-Man.[13]

In 2020, he started painting murals of 50 Cent again, creating multiple mashups that "reimagine" the rapper as another public figure, including Mike Tyson ("50 Thent"), Mike Pence ("50 Pence") and Taylor Swift ("Swifty Cent").[14] 50 Cent reposted many of the murals on his social media, expressing both admiration for the artist's skill, but also anger over being consistently targeted by him. In May 2020, Lushsux stated that he was hospitalised after being attacked by a group of men while painting another 50 Cent mural.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ MacDowall, Lachlan (2019). Instafame: Graffiti and Street Art in the Instagram Era. Intellect Books. ISBN 9781789380392, p. 49.
  2. ^ "Street Artist Lush Turned an NGV Toilet into an Exhibition Space", beat.com.au. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  3. ^ Johnston, Chris (5 August 2016). "Lushsux: the divisive street-art man with no name", The Age. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  4. ^ "'It's chaos for a lot of people': what is the future of NFTs in Australian art?". theguardian.com.
  5. ^ "DART PORTA LA PRIMA ESPOSIZIONE DI CRIPTOARTE AL MUSEO DELLA PERMANENTE DI MILANO". manintown.com (in Italian).
  6. ^ "Christie's Partners With nft now on "The Gateway" Exhibition". hypebeast.com.
  7. ^ "Artist Censored by Instagram for Clinton Mural". artnet News. 1 August 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  8. ^ Reuters (30 October 2017). "Aussie Artist Lushsux Behind Naked Kardashian Mural Paints Trump And Netanyahu Smooching". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 February 2020. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ "Two huge Trump murals by Lushsux appear on West Bank barrier". ABC News. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  10. ^ Ashly, Jaclynn. "Separation wall murals: Art or occupation tourism?". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  11. ^ a b Hefawi, Soud (5 December 2017). "Not for sale … Not meant to remain". Medium. Retrieved 4 August 2022.
  12. ^ "50 Cent Reacts To Mural Painting Of Himself As Tekashi 6ix9ine: "What The F*ck"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  13. ^ Chanel, Esha (11 March 2019). "Exclusive: Interview with the talented meme artist, painter and MMA fan @lushsux". MiddleEasy.com. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Meet Donye, the melding of Donald Trump with Kanye West, and artist Lush Sux". Irish Examiner. 16 October 2018. Archived from the original on 18 May 2019.
  15. ^ Espinoza, Joshua (20 May 2020). "Artist Behind Viral 50 Cent Murals Claims He's Been Assaulted Over His Work", Complex. Retrieved 21 May 2020.

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