You’ve probably seen Lush Sux’s artwork all over the internet. The mysterious artist has made a huge name for himself in the past year by painting pop culture-infused murals, with just the right amount troll added to the mix. When Kim Kardashian dropped that bomb on Taylor Swift, Lush created an “In Loving Memory” mural. When Kanye West revealed he would’ve voted for Donald Trump (had he voted), Lush grabbed his tools and painted West in a straight jacket. When Kendall Jenner and Pepsi co-opted the resistance movement to shill soft drinks, Lush painted Jenner as revolutionary icon Che Guevara, wearing a Pepsi beret.
Though he’s Australian and paints most of his work Down Under, Lush Sux keeps up with American politics too. During the election, he painted Donald Trump naked on the side of a two-story building, naming it “The Dongald.” He also painted a topless Melania Trump with the quote, “I’m With Her.” Hillary Clinton was depicted wearing a patriotic monokini.
Not surprisingly, that particular painting received tons of backlash, with Australian authorities threatening to remove the image even though the building’s owner gave the okay. To prevent the inevitable, Lush censored his work by covering up Clinton with a Niqab, a traditional veil worn by Muslim women.
“This is no longer a wall of a supposed ‘offensive, ‘ and near naked Hillary Clinton, it is now a depiction of a beautiful Muslim woman,” Lush said on Instagram after updating the mural. “No reasonable person would consider this offensive. If you do consider it offensive, you are a sexist, racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, uncultured and ignorant bigot.”
The man is many things; subtle isn’t one of them.
A straight shooter, Lush admits he gets controversial because it’s his viral pieces that bring him the most attention. It’s hard to argue that point every time one of his murals get international media coverage.
“I have been doing shows in galleries since 2010, all over the world from San Francisco to Berlin,” he said last week via phone. “I just happen to mostly post my ‘street’ works because they get a better response online. Canvas work just doesn’t quite capture the same kind of reactions.”
Lush’s popularity has made him a hot commodity, and he currently commands tens of thousands of dollars for his pieces.
“I get bored easy. Right now I’m into viral images and memes. But I prefer landscapes that I get $30,000 to paint on.”