Filthy Luker’s Art Attacks


One painter and public artist, Filthy Luker, has decided to show us how he really feels about the built environment by attacking it. With art. Not one for modesty, Luker says “the art is sparkling with humor, recklessness, it forces you to look at the world in a new way.” These pieces, though, seem less like attacks than well-planned and conceived pieces of public art designed to perhaps look more rebellious than they really are. It seems like more and more cities want temporary pieces like these that don’t cost much and add an aura of hip to old spaces.

In one work, a 50-feet tall interactive space invader game was created using “road barriers” on Manchester’s town hall, which looks likes it’s being restored or repaired. Actual software, written by Jnr Hacksaw, lets passers-by press a button set on a bollard and shoot invaders. The new interactive art piece actually relieves the monotony of the construction tarps, turning what would temporarily be an underwhelming space into something fun, fresh.


Luker also likes to attack cities with octupus. Or perhaps it’s a kraken? Cities really enjoy the sea creatures, too, though. Singapore, Geneva, London, and Quito have commissioned pieces. Once he’s done with an installation, Luker calls these buildings and museums “octopied.” In this example from Geneva (immediately below), a vantage point over the water becomes a wild tangle of tentacles. There, a lighthouse is also transformed. The octupus moves on to Quito, Ecuador, and the UK.





Lastly, incorporating standard household objects into landscapes can turn both manicured and left-over spaces into pop-art pieces. In Down the Plughole, a landscape becomes a bathtub. He calls this a passing comment on the education system” set within the back garden of the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) in Bristol.


A handsaw takes apart a pastoral garden, at least temporarily. The sheep just seem to be ignoring it.


Perhaps he thinks we are all just buying too much and must eventually succumb to his art attacks. The message: more interaction with your environment and less consumption. 


See more of Luker’s work.

Also, check out how artist Simone Decker creates huge chewing gum-like installations in public spaces.

Image credit: Filthy Luker

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