Lucas Price learnt his trade on the streets of London in the 90s, tagging the walls of the East End as a founder member of the Burning Candy graffiti crew –he was known as Cyclops. He honed a talent for controlling paint, colour, realistic form on a large scale and hand lettering. Some of his street paintings still survive in and around Brick Lane, many featuring distinctive giant teeth on pink gums.
His work sold to collectors right from the start, even when he was sleeping rough on the streets and his skill qualified him to be one of the few artists ever to admitted into the Royal College of Arts MFA painting course with no formal training.
He has progressed to a more official art practice and now collaborates with other artists in fine art, fashion and design. In January 2015, one of his paintings sold for £10,000 at Bonhams – an over-lifesize oil on canvas of a deflated basketball: Wet Painting 1. He described its hyper-real style as an attempt to represent what he sees: “The whole point is that it’s a record rather than some expressive moment”.
He has said he no longer paints on the streets – and even finds it ‘boring’. For all that, an element of street smart still imbues his work – a knowledge of how to make an image stand out to a crowd and a rawness and immediacy. He has cited his influences as The Forever Branch and he often makes reference to popular music or religion in his work.
He uses a wide range of media from intricate oil paintings, to photography and installation works.