Introducing the trailblazing hybrid whose brushstrokes codify his “apocalyptic” yet wild state of mind.

Let’s kick this off with a Gen Z reflection – So here we go, yet again, summoning our poignant selves on a day-to-day basis, seeking to foster habitual customs ruthlessly. Prior to commencing, may I dare clarify: If you’re an ardent human, eager to deepen as well as get influenced by a galore of bittersweet ideologies and conceptual stuff, or better, if your art lust has divulged over the past few years, donned by a penchant for elusive abstraction and subtle sensitivity, then this piece might feasibly be your ultimate cup of tea. Otherwise, my saddest apologies – you’re welcome to skip onto the next one, no pressure. Cutting my chatter short: Perry isn’t your usual next-door kid who scored top GCSE grades when in high school, wore it slick and dandy all day every day, and acted with a youthful “daddy’s boy” insolence. Oh no, he’s just way far from it. He craves for subversion, distinctiveness, and expressivity. Try and set your mind on all the lousy experiences that brought plenty of tears to your eyes. Try and reflect on when you couldn’t hack your parental choices and you lied about failing your school tests. Oddly but surely, he’s a little bit more like that. And it’s his creative eclecticism what has molded him into a real prodigy. Challenging the remarkable philosophy behind the pillars of construction and deconstruction, strongly referencing the Cubist movement epitomized through an empowered structural yet fragmented illustrative approach, Perry has stormed his unique creative methods upon the modern-day art sphere by stimulating all afore-stated principles thrillingly. Despair fused with beamingly hued edges vulcanize a fascinating breach into his quixotic world, constituted by an erudite implementation of abstract expressionism. Calamity and placidity reminisce a pugnaciously evocative spirit of his childhood, suffused by an insatiable longing to provoke his chosen subjects. The artist constantly seeks to portray a “mad” state of mind, an aspect he chose to coin in his recent exhibition, where he visually dissects his teenage-hood years through a lens of “abusive profusion” merged with the hope for moral furtherance. As the creative’s life got tougher as time went on, creativity was his sole refuge, tossing a myriad of rebellious emotions into his practice, obstructed by stern disbelief in his persona. Perry now walks as a fierce and proud young artist, attending the revered Slade School of Art in London. Revolutionary practices echoed alongside an intrusive past formed a solid mixture to match. Call him an immersive humanoid, a remarkable talent, or whatever: all I can guarantee is that a vision of such kind will have your head-tripping in no time.

Tell me about yourself and your journey through Art.

My name is Lawrence Perry and I’m an artist. I’ve always known that Art was my “thing”, instead of being the best footballer at school I would charge kids one pound at lunchtimes for half-hour drawing lessons. I believe we always have creativity within us, more so when we’re young, but I was lucky enough to live a life and be guided by people that showed me the importance of our juvenile consciousness. In accepting our perspectives ignorance, we open our minds to the possibilities of anything – leaving a pocket for us to innovate, create and imagine. This has always been a key motivator behind my journey through Art. Each painting is a lesson learned or a dysfunction digested. My progression as an artist to the outside world is judged by its gratifications and publications, but to me, that is more my professional career. Studying Art at school, winning Art competitions, becoming a political in-house artist at 16, being accepted into Slade and having a solo exhibition at 19 are all brilliant confidence boosts, but my journey through Art relies on its highs and lows. We break down to break through, sometimes if I’m not painting anything for weeks, I’m formulating something powerful. Today we have a toxic attachment between progression and accomplishment if we detached ourselves from our ego’s we would have more freedom and accept our own ignorance, so we can make true progression.


How did that inform your practice?

My practice is my therapy. It’s me materializing the workings of my mind. I didn’t always know this of course, and for a long time, I was an angry, punky, young artist who did it purely because he knew he could. Art has always been something I can bounce my consciousness off. As a child, my art seemed to range from painting dragons to drawing willy’s on my schoolmates’ textbooks (sounds like Freud’s wet dream, I know). Once I hit about thirteen that’s when I stumbled across the universe of Art. The catalyst was probably a mixture between my s**t home life and the freedom that brought me. From then on, I was streamlined, all I could think about was Art and all I did was paint. I had a 23% attendance rate at school because I was always dripping in paint and cigarette smoke at home. Everyone knew I did Art, and no one saw me. I knew the only thing I had the authority to talk about was my experiences, so I began materializing the rumbles and tumbles of my life. Painting series of girls I loved, experimenting painting on different drugs, sketching self-portraits and spilling secrets never told, my paintings showed me for who I was, and I loved having ownership over that. However, the more I delved into this ego-driven exploration I came to realize the importance of losing that sense of self when it comes to making a judgment. We can always only speak for ourselves and never impress anything on anyone, but we can build ourselves as examples by learning from others’ experiences. My recent exhibition was about my involvements with mental health, but now I’m more interested in creating something that doesn’t apply only to me.

What has compelled you to probe into this field above others?

I always knew I loved Art and if I put time into it, I could have a fulfilling life. I was lucky enough to have a few angels around me that supported my passion: Gerald who taught me to draw at the age of six, Mr. Mee who saved me from expulsion and taught me about Art History, and Fiona who saw that I could become a professional artist. I’ve been gifted the confidence to do what I love, and I can’t be more grateful for it.


You state that your ideology has been primely influenced by your youthful years, pervaded by a “past riddled with dysfunction and addiction” – what is it that specifically challenged your inner growth through time?

I’m still in my youthful years, but so far, they’ve been very interesting. My ideology simplified is probably revised carelessness. The more we prepare ourselves not to be led by our animalistic emotions, the further we push ourselves to be human. What separates us from monkeys is we are the only animal that thinks about thinking. With this, we have something special, something to defeat addictions, the power to learn from the past and the ability to harness creativity.

We can mend dysfunction without running away from it, and this is done through knowledge. When we revise our states as beings, we replace the care we have for that with knowledge of ourselves.


We recently came across your exhibition, “M.A.D” (Merely A Dream) – can you talk us through what propelled you to push such concept forward?

Merely A Dream was literally, mad! It was a celebration of tangible sanity. The exhibition showcased twenty-eight paintings split into seven subdivisions of mental health. The compositions confessed my relationship with addiction, anxiety, ADHD, body image, relationships, social media, and Synaesthesia. Talking about the subjects was not only an empowering experience for myself but hearing the conversations at the exhibition surrounding positive consciousness was even more rewarding. The aim was to expose myself and strip back any taboo’s, to create an environment for conversation and self-reflection. I know I’m still young, meaning my journey with mental health is far from over, but by confronting this from the beginning is my way of painting what I feel, whilst admitting my own lack of self-perception. These two combined make a raw, abstracted confrontation, reaching a medium between action and reflection.


What are your thoughts on the future of Art as digitalization is swiftly escalating to eminence?

I think “Art” to the Art world has already split. In my personal opinion, anything can be classified Art, but these days it seems you’re either an “artist” or an “animator”, and unfortunately for animators, everything has to be keeping up with the digital world around them. Artists are more detached. It’s very similar to the automation revolution we’ve had on our hands since the seventy’s, as long as we lie in this consumerist society we live in; we will spiral into toxic anarchy. Don’t get me wrong, elements of anarchy tickle my fancy – but there can’t be a revolution without a solution. Art is always best when politics are unstable, and Art is always the quietest when politics is comfortable. That toxic, stubborn relationship has caused us to go in circles for years. Imagine if we could use our Art to create conscious change and raise questions, and then have political/activist movements to back us and support us so we can make the change we’re driving for substantial. Once that’s happened, we don’t drop off and just wait for things to crumble, we have a society built without racial and financial disparities and people weren’t so enslaved to a toxic nine to five. Also, we found an equilibrium with the automation revolution so that people worked less (because of robots), but inflation was less, and people were conscious enough to fill their time with family building, social togetherness, and creativity. There will never be an app that can create art more personal to humans than we can, so I think we should celebrate those few things because they exist for us.

Could you explain to us where you dip in for inspiration?

Inspiration can come from anything; all we can do is react to our environment whether or not we have free will. Sourcing inspiration for my Art can come in any form; sometimes I take a shower and the fluctuations of heat make me think of changeable moods, or a mate will say one word that sticks in my head all day, or I’ll see dirty laundry on the floor beautifully clashing in color. It really depends on the potency of how something makes me feel, combined with the time I’m seeing it. Something I see that’d spark an amazing piece of work, I’d see the week before and it’d mean nothing to me. My ADHD feels like being in a large crowd all the time, so I try to have as much sensory input, so my environment matches my inside. Art is always about expression, so it has to come from something brewing inside of us, I like to think my subjects are never truly new as I’m piecing together memories on canvas.


In your introduction to us, you called yourself to own a “scallywag façade.” Why is that?

I guess when people think of me, they see a London boy who spent most of his time growing up in Kilburn, Camden, and Hackney. In-between knocking out teeth, piercing and tattooing this that and the other, charity shop clothes covered in paint and a music preference from thirty to forty years ago, there’s always been multiple sides to me. I’m a strong believer in our ability to be whoever we want, and we can control how much of ourselves we give to people. I guess with my troubles growing up with ADHD I prepared people for my topsy-turviness by matching it with my appearance.


How much of your paintings bestrides the intangible and how much of it alludes to palpable realism?

The world of creativity gives us the legroom we need to tell truth in all its forms. As important as I think idealization is, nothing in my work comes from pure imagination – only reflection. Think of it as a shattered mirror, I can hold it up to society, but everyone will see different angles and different reflections. The intangible is something very odd to hear because to me nothing is truly intangible when it comes to art. The power of perception can replace reality when a paintbrush is picked up. Let’s say something intangible is turning a cake back to egg, flour, and milk. In art we the ability to reverse this in multiple different mediums. When I create societal ideals within my work, it proves that somehow human consciousness can manifest thoughts into physicality – so there are no excuses for why we can’t make this change in reality. Don’t think of my paintings as if they are the polished furnishings of my mind, more the wake left behind a recovery process. To you, this may seem intangible, but for me, it can’t get more real.


If you could define your maddest dream, what would it be?

I often have dreams where I’ve died at the end. At first, these dreams were terrifying, once I had sleep paralysis, so I was pretty much trapped in it. After a while, these dreamworld deaths started to feel like rebirths. I began to let go of my ties to the selfish reasons for living and instead felt as if I’d been here before. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, every breath we take essentially gives us a new chance at life.


What’s next for Perry, The Trailblazing Hybrid?

I plan on living life and then leaving the remnants of that for you all to see. Prepare to see more street art in south London, some exhibitions, more works revealed and perhaps some clothes. Something behind the scenes is formulating, with a handful of powerful minds ticking away.

Photos by Cindy Sasha.