Taking humble roots and ramping them up into an immersive art experience
What do you get when you mix an elevated utility brand with a hyperrealist artist? CARHARTT WIP (Work In Progress) x Lucas Price takes humble roots and ramps them up into an immersive art experience. It’s all about taking the old and creating the new, modifying Carhartt’s OG base products for an entirely new audience of pioneers in their own respective fields. There is no conceptual frame better suited for an artist such as Lucas Price – formerly known as Cyclops – to showcase his work. Blending traditional techniques with photorealism, Price is quickly coming up as one of the most skilled contemporary artists of the 21st century. It was only natural that an iconic pairing such as this would fall into Glamcult’s hands, as we are honoured to have the opportunity to showcase this collaboration in a way only we could. From the underground to the exhibition space, we sat down with Lucas Price to learn more about the pieces and his own creative style, giving you full insight into this fully immersive visual experience. Catch the exhibition opening at the Automat Studio on the 28th 6-9 and all-day 29th, it’s a showcase of talent so rare that you can only catch it once.
Hey Lucas! So nice to be in touch – we are really looking forward to this event. How have you been doing recently?
Good, thank you, busy but good.
Aren’t we all? Well, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! Right off the bat, your skills and technique are immaculate! What initially got you into painting and to the style you occupy today?I’ve been painting since I was a child. I think most kids paint…but it never really stopped being something I was interested in, and I just developed and followed what interested me to the point it’s at now. I guess the focus now is more the content than the style – thinking of what to paint rather than how to paint it.
It’s so amazing when you can have a craft that kind of sticks with you your whole life. Especially when it comes to painting, I know the key is lots of practice, but few manage to get to the technical skills that you have. You manage to translate the ‘real world’ into your work so seamlessly – how do you add your own personal style and energy into still-life pieces such as the ones for Carhartt WIP
Everything that ends up being painted has to be photographed first and made as a real-world object or scene before it can be translated into an image. So, a great deal of the work takes place in a studio and on camera. For the Carhartt WIP paintings, I knew I wanted to incorporate references to work and more contemporary surfaces, along with some traditional elements, so it was a case of finding out how to do that and still present a cohesive set of works that could still be read as, say, Neoclassical. I printed logos and text onto silks and included hand tools, which I think updates the paintings in keeping with the project.
Absolutely immaculate! It’s literally double the artistry – photography on the one hand, and then the painting afterwards. The creative energy of the world feels like it’s been flowing faster than ever before recently. What really gets you in the right zone and headspace to paint?
Coffee, music and no phone.
Sounds like a fix we are all desperately in need of. Your work moulds together many different eras: where would you equate your influences deriving from?
Jacques Louis Davide, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Jeff Koons, and Andy Warhol.
What an amazing mix of artists! You definitely see all of their influences in your work – there’s not a shadow of a doubt as to why you would have been the perfect artist to create for Carhartt WIP. How did this collaboration come about? How did it start and what was your vision for the pieces?
I’d done something with Carhartt WIP for their initiative Clothes For Progress – an amazing project recycling used designer clothing to raise money for various causes. Carhartt WIP were generous enough to supply me with some clothes that I modified, which were then sold and exhibited. A little later I met with Tim in Berlin to thank him and it grew from that initial meeting. We went back and forth and arrived at the idea of building on some work I’d been making recently, but instead of using an ornate period costume, I used the Carhartt WIP collection.
I think I just wanted to build on the idea of contemporary fashion, and surfaces making their way into an image which, on first inspection, is easily read as being something from antiquity.
You managed to encapsulate that feeling perfectly – it’s subversive, amazingly executed, and such a nuanced concept one typically wouldn’t expect from the fashion industry these days. This project has come with so much love – why do you think your style and the Carhartt WIP aesthetic mesh so well?
I think because they were trusting enough to give me free rein. That, and the help of the art department at Carhartt WIP who framed the whole thing so well.
Team work does make the dream work after all. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these! Congratulations on these pieces and the exhibition – are there projects/ personal achievements you’re hoping to manifest for yourself currently?
I would love to make some books, start some new paintings, and get out of London for a while.