London Art@Site - Lovepusher Jesus graffiti



Jesus graffiti

Cans Festival Tunnel
My name is Lovepusher. I’m a graffiti artist from London and I’m best known for my unique 3D style and large scale productions.
I’ve been actively writing for 17 years.
The impetus to start graffiti came when a friend and I stumbled on an old New York style mural near our local school. Personally I was blown away by the sheer scale, intense colours and the overall incredible style of the letters. It took my friend and I some time to decipher the letters on the wall, but after a short period of time we finally realised that the mural read “The Andersons.”
Prior to seeing that graffiti mural, the only place I had seen letters look remotely as good was on the old 80s VHS movie covers. I was so overwhelmed by the colour and style of the mural that daily while at school, I would try to emulate what I had seen on the wall. Ironically the first graffiti sketch I drew after studying the mural was the name of my then church, St Boniface.
I later moved to a school in Wimbledon and that’s when things graffiti-wise really began to take off. While in class, I was doing more of these novice graffiti sketches when a classmate overlooking my feeble attempts at graffiti remarked something along the lines of, “you’re not doing it right.” Having never spoken to this classmate before, his comment came across as quite strange. Nevertheless we struck up a conversation and he began to inform me on the fact that he was actually a writer and knew a fair bit more than I did about graffiti. We became friends and he proceeded to educate me on the graffiti culture.
At the very beginning my obvious influence was my classmate and friend who went by various names like Sik, Hefa, fips and Fare. As I was learning and being introduced to many new writers at the writer’s bench, I suppose everyone at that time had a major influence on me in some way. At that young age I was really just trying to absorb as much as possible from all the writers and sources around me. I specifically remember that the dominant inspirational styles that really stood out around that time were coming from London crews like PFB, DDS, TKS, FBS, AWE, URS, FDC, GFS, OTB and BSE. After writing illegally for 8 years things started to get on top, I found myself heading down a self destructive path and moving with the wrong people (not graffiti related). I could see my life was going severely off course and knew if I didn’t do something to change things imminently that it would pretty much be game over. At the time of this madness I was totally lost and didn’t know who to talk or how to change the circumstances to positively move forward. Then I remembered what I used to hear in church and what my parents would drum into my ear, which was if ever I had a problem all I had to do was talk to God. So that’s exactly what I did, I got on my knees and prayed. I asked for a way out and that’s exactly what I got. Literally from that point onwards my life changed for the good, with love, happiness and an abundance of good people to work with and to learn from. I was so overwhelmed by how much my life had changed in such a short space of time that I wanted to say thank you to God in a special way. So I decided that I would use my graffiti talents to spread a positive message in the form of “Remember Jesus.”
With this new message, I reluctantly knew that I had to change my tag to coincide with my new choice of style and spiritual direction. I didn’t want to come up with a name that had absolutely no personal reference or meaning to me. The name had to be totally relevant representing everything I believed and stood for. Quite simply, I took two separate words and married them together to create my tag ‘Lovepusher’. The word ‘Love’ represented Jesus and the love I have for Him in my life and the word ‘pusher’ represented me as an individual, pushing (spreading) the Love (Word). With regards to writers with a genuine message behind their work, I’m sure if you looked hard enough you could definitely find a few writers saying much more than just their name. The concept of not writing your name might come as something strange to an individual within a culture which is partly based on the idea getting your name up visually in as many places as possible. It requires you to take the self or the ego aspect of painting out of the equation and instead, dedicate yourself to a message or an ideal.
From about 2003-2009 the message was solely as it stated “Remember Jesus.” In the early stages I was spreading this positive message as a personal reminder, but also as a subtle prompt to remind people of the positivity that Jesus can bring their lives. I suppose you could say I was evangelising. However, as time progressed, I found there was far more in terms of thoughts, feelings and experiences that I wanted to communicate without compromising the original message. So from the start of 2010 I began to use allegory to express these ideas pictorially without having to change the message entirely. A great example of this was a recent wall I produced where I wanted to visually convey the story of death and resurrection. I was able to do this by painting the images of two skulls, which through the ages has always been symbolic of death. To counter the concept of death with the idea of resurrection, I designed my 3D letters in the structure of a pyramid. As we know pyramids have forever been a symbolic reference to idea of ascension. At the top of the pyramid I introduced a golden light which completed the story by showing death, and the ascension from death to life represented in the form of Pyramid structure with a golden light at its apex.
Like anything images are always open to different interpretations depending on the mindset and education of the viewer. Ultimately I wish people to take in the dominant message of my work, but also to venture further looking into the deeper narrative interwoven within the painting itself.