As accolades go, getting into the Royal College of Art with no qualifications is a pretty good one: it’s hard enough to navigate the notorious tight squeeze of acceptance into the RCA, even if you have dined exclusively on fine art your whole life. But if you only have a wealth of street art behind you – including an appearance in Banksy’s ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’ – spent a stint in rehab and can’t boast of any sort of training, getting in is narrower than the proverbial fallopian tube. But that’s exactly what London artist Lucas Price has done. Indeed he’s the first person ever to be accepted on the MFA course there without said qualification.
Though Price is still studying, (when he finds time) this is a man who has never struggled to find his audience. Selling artwork for thousands of pounds while still at school was a fairly good start; then he worked almost exclusively on the streets to some notoriety; and now he has come to the possibly more restricted world of fine art and galleries.
But Price has not only gone to the interior as a place to create and exhibit work – it seems to be the subject of the content too. T E A M Atlas (The Earth As My) concerns itself with the idea of mapping and cataloguing – but here the mapping seems to be the existential, the inner workings of the mind and mantras, and the human experience. Recurring themes include Utopia, the importance of persistence over talent, religion (not for the first time Jesus appears in his work), and, possibly more tenuously, deflation in the form of a shriveled basketball. Comprising sculpture, painting, personal writings, lyrics and Hip-Hop influences, this exhibition is very much an opportunity to see an outstanding young artist who seems to be undergoing a partial reinvention. There are no plans to return to street art so glimpse the start of his new direction here. (Words: Ed Spencer)
T E A M Atlas is on at the Rove Gallery, Hoxton Square, until December 21st. For more info, visit www.lucasprice.com