Melbourne graffiti artist Lush is all about shock value. His images of gigantic, squirting genitalia and nasty phrases on display Friday night at FIFTY24SF definitely dropped more than a few jaws. Forget boring art shows with cheese and hushed conversation, the opening of "Lush Sells His Soul in San Francisco" was a Lusty Lady road show, with boobs and booze as the headlining acts.
Judging from the crowd on the sidewalk outside, one might have assumed the party inside was tame. A quick side-step past the intimidating bouncers and a beeline behind the curtains gave gallery-goers the real goods: nearly naked ladies, wrecking havoc with markers, dollar bills, champagne, and a stripper pole.
The real live peep show was a no-brainer for Lush -- he's been incorporating naked chicks in his work since the beginning of his career, often inviting them to spray paint "Lush Sucks" over his street art. The work on the walls was extravagant and shocking in its own right, lots of insulting two-bits and floor-to-ceiling paintings of lady parts with carnival-style holes perfectly cut for explicit Facebook profile photos. But the beautiful babes from the iconic nude revue were bound to steal the show.
The artist wouldn't allow pictures of his face (so I managed to snap one of his shoes) and says he's probably not going to be painting anywhere outdoors in San Francisco during his stay -- too many cops. Disappointing to hear, as I'm sure many business owners and city officials would love to see a monster labia on a city building. What's up with his cooter obsession?
"Shocking people is the name of the game. Everybody paints flowers and shit, but no one gives a fuck about flowers. I want to grab people's attention and when I do, I want them to look down and see my name, and be like 'oh yeah, it's that prick.'"
"Lush Sells His Soul in San Francisco"
218 Filmore, SF