SHOWING VISUAL ART’S FUN SIDE
“I guess I like my work to be fun and not taken too serious, enjoyed for what it is. I also like it when people take what I’ve done and make up stories based around the characters, it becomes theirs.”
The world of visual arts seems to be filled to the brim with an air of seriousness. Luckily for everyone, there are artists like Russ Morland, better known as LURK, who takes you on an adventure of the lighthearted nonsensical work that lives inside his head (and really inside all of our heads). He hails from the island town of Nanaimo where he continuously knuckles down and actively participates in the hardest part of being an artist, getting the word out: “This city is kinda dead but I’m trying to create something cool and I’m always stoked for everyone that comes to the shows and supports us. We have a show a month and so far the shows are booked into 2015, so hyped on that, the reception has been great so far.”
Morland has been playing the art game for some time now. He’s been doing it since he was a young pup, starting out in the cold north of England. Hell, that kind of grey and rainy forecast makes for a wild imagination, the West Coast population can attest to that. Morland is a self-proclaimed dork who used to paint Dungeons & Dragons figures and skateboard when growing up. In fact, skateboarding was very influential to the young artist. “I think skateboarding changed my life for the better, the graphics on the boards, the culture, the music I was introduced to.”
On the tip of influences, let’s not forget someone he states had a huge impact on him, artist Frenemy, and without a doubt Albert Caine whom he apprenticed under at Black & Blue before opening up his own tattoo shop Electric Umbrella, a multi-layered shop that joins monthly art shows and the permanent work of tattoos done with flair and precision. Some of his favourite and seemingly most fun pieces to give to clients are original LURK tattoos so get over to Nanaimo and have this rare talent mark you, join the militia, and become an official LURK army member.
If you are at all familiar with the work Morland has done throughout the years you can easily see where the evolution of his work really came from. Not only has he been featured in Juxtapose, an Italian street fashion magazine, and bagged an underwear collab with MyPakage, 2014 looks like it has shaped up nicely. “[This year] looks sick, I’m finalizing a shoe deal and toy deal. I’m gonna continue to work on LURKLANDIA and maybe do some teaching. So far it’s looking good, I have an art show at TAG in LA coming up as well as Vancouver and Nanaimo.”
Having worked with and befriended the cats at Fortune Sound Club in the past, you may have noticed some LURK murals up; it was an easy slide putting his art show LURKLANDIA into the slot. “Very stoked to announce that I will be doing an art show at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver as part of the KnowShow trade show!”
All artists have the unique ability to bring beauty into this world, and because they have the ability to view things differently, they help everyone see themselves differently. Inspiring the world to be creative, every artist enhances our lives and only deserves support and encouragement. Support your artists.
Support LURK at Fortune Sound Club in Vancouver from 9 p.m. -12 a.m. on January 17th.
By Jamie Goyman
Works: Russ Morland