Updated: May 4
Plastic Jesus is a Los Angeles based street artist that specialises in bold stencil and installation work, inspired by world news events, society, the urban environment, culture and politics.
His critically acclaimed work combines humor, irony, criticism and unique opinion to create art that engages on many levels.
Often questioning the norms in society Plastic Jesus confronts our compliance of culture and current affairs. The artist uses scale and contradiction as a means to highlight issues and opinions that often go unquestioned. The aesthetic appeal of his work combined with the engagement produces an addictive mix that challenges our acceptance.
Plastic Jesus is not about revolution, he is not a anarchist but would like to see some changes around the place. His work is more about shining a small light into some of those dark corners of society.
Meet Plastic Jesus
What made you want to become an artist?
I became an artist almost by accident, I never set out to be one.
I was a photojournalist for over 20 years and I was becoming increasingly frustrated by stories ignored by the mainstream media or reported with such a bias that it really didn’t tell the whole story. Art seemed to be a way in which I could get messages out for anyone to read.
Every artist has their own unique style of working to bring out their creativity. How do you work?
My work is focused on current affairs, news, politics and social issues. As a street artist I always try to keep my pieces as simple as possible. That way they may be viewed by occupants of a car driving past at 50mph. So once I decide on the idea and image I simplify as much as possible so it conveys the message without any ’surplus’ detail.
What’s your Background?
I grew up in London and moved to LA in 2007. Initially I was an engineer and on my 30th birthday I decided to quit my engineering job to become a news photographer. To me this was a dream job. I spent the next 20 years traveling all over the world covering stories for The Times, The Daily Mail, The News of the world and hundreds of more publications.
What role does art play in your life?
Probably too much! It’s easy when you’re passionate about something to let it take over your life. Sometimes I get so involved with a piece or a commission I have to take a step back and remind myself its only art… Even when I'm not creating art I'm thinking about messages and issues and how I can use art to convey them. I’m very focused when I'm passionate about something, possibly too focused.
What was your favorite piece to do and why?
The Large lines of cocaine with 8 feet tall $50 bill. It was pretty simple to create but clearly people had been amused and shocked by it on the street. I guess also my Robin Williams portrait. This piece has had far more reaction in the way of email and messages I have received. So many people connect with that piece.
What project are you currently working on now?
I’m working on my first big show. Feb 24/25 here in LA at the old Tower Records location. I want the new pieces to be a surprise, but again Im also working on a piece for the 2017 Oscars.
What was the first piece of work you sold?
Don’t paint the wall - a take on the Pink Floyd - The Wall album.
Who is your favorite living artist?
I guess I have to say Banksy. I love artist's who push boundaries and rock the boat.
Your artwork is on the rise what plans do you have next?
My plans are to expand my art and maybe to go back to my roots as a photographer and use photography in a more creative, provocative way. I want to get bolder with my street pieces so people really stop and think. With the current election outcome I think subversive art and thought is gonna be big for the next 4 years or more… People need a way of expressing their frustrations.
Do you have any advise for other artists?
Don’t worry about getting your art perfect just create it. Also don’t dream of getting into some fancy high-end gallery, they’ll only take 50% of your money… use social media and create your own audience. Let your popularity speak for itself with out some posh twat in a gallery pushing your work.
Plastic Jesus www.plasticjesus.com