Words - Holly Terry
Turns out I could talk to Lucas Grogan for hours. He dished the dirt on all things from Veganism to Podcasts, from Deli Belly to the pointlessness of a university degree **tosses books aside**.
However, as we began discussing his life as a practicing artist, it struck me early on how approachable he really was, despite having an ‘aura of untouchability’ created from his endless and impressive list of solo exhibitions and his social media attention.
Perhaps what drew a line of difference (and quite a stark line, to be frank) between Lucas and myself was his no rules attitude. Of course, such a portrayal is to be expected from an artistic sensation. Alas! I have never come across an artist that portrays a down-the-line and within-the-boundaries approach to life.
Lucas, however, truly is the former.
I realised this when within the comfort of our intimate conversation, I discussed the feeling I get when praise is given to my art practice. Lucas replied with a nonchalant response, confirming that his work is purely about satisfying his own expression, rather than meeting the growing and critical expectations of others.
I was immediately embarrassed.
Grogan discusses the meaning behind his work with passion, and I decided that his practice is a lot deeper than I initially expected. He discusses the shallow judgments of his work as a ‘few silly words’, and then quashes such ideas, divulging into far deeper meanings. He sheds light on a recent piece of work posted on his Instagram, discussing its reference to the need for new Australian foundations, perhaps suggestive of the status-quo approach to our cultural history. For someone who doesn't care for the opinions of others, the portrayal of such messages seems strikingly grounded.
Having been named one of the most upcoming artists of the century, Grogan discusses the hardship that goes with the life of a practicing artist in terms of receiving and taking criticism, making bank and his admittedly high dud ratio. To him, having been at the core of an ethically concerned critique of the Aboriginal references within his work, he has learnt to take criticism at hand and recognise that there will always be a minority willing to criticise. Preach!
It is clear that Grogan does not take himself too seriously. Nonetheless, he highlights the strenuous toll being an artist has on his personal life. “You could have a partner, but it will always be like a threesome. Your work is such a commitment”
And a commitment it clearly is. His upcoming works include an array of collections and solo shows, and interestingly his recent collaboration with Marcus Marr and Chet Faker with the design of their EP cover.
Although, Grogan admittedly sees himself as a “strictly top 40 kind of guy”.
What’s next for Grogan is a showing at Spring Art Fair in August, a Solo at Martin Brown in Sydney, and a new collection in which I was sworn to secrecy. Hint: it could protect you from all the first world problems including Parking fines and dud roots. If that’s not civil service, then I don't know what is.
Holly Terry is a young lass from the 'burbs who enjoys painting and eating. You'll find her painting anything with an inch of available space, including her pet dog. When she is not cooped up at her job and favourite hobby, Davey Jones, she spends her days studying International Relations. She hopes to take on the world in future years and rewrite the entire series of Star Wars.