Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Australian graffiti artist to hold workshop in Bethlehem

By Rhiannon F. - October 15, 2017
Section: [Main News] [Culture]
Tags: [culture] [Bethlehem] [Apartheid Wall]

The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem will host a graffiti master class with 'the world’s most entertaining vandal,’ LushSux, at the end of October. The graffiti artist from Melbourne, Australia is well known for his large, provocative, street murals and more recently his painting on the Israeli – West Bank wall in Bethlehem.

This will be the third time LushSux has visited Palestine. On a recent trip he painted two murals, both of United States (US) president, Donald Trump. One depicts him hugging an Israel Defense Force (IDF) tower with love hearts flying up the side. The other is of Trump wearing a Jewish Kippah (cap), touching the wall with a thought bubble saying 'I’m going to build you a brother,’ referencing his plan to build a wall between Mexico and the US.

On LushSux’s last trip he painted a series based on a recent episode of Rick and Morty, an American adult animation. The main characters set out to solve the Middle East crisis to spite the fictional US president. As explained in the Jerusalem Post the dialogue states; “Israel and Palestine have announced a permanent ceasefire,” an aide tells the president. They signed something called the 'pretty obvious if you think about it accord.”

While painting the Rick and Morty pieces, LushSux says he was urinated on by an IDF soldier manning one of the towers. He hopes there is no such interference during the workshop.


LushSux is modest in his reasons behind producing political art. “I don't have an interest in claiming I'm here to change anything or help, I'm not some sociopathic struggle jocker, I don't have any motives other than to paint what I would usually paint anyways,” he said in an interview with Palestine Monitor. Each mural usually takes him a few hours to complete. “It just depends if taxi drivers are annoying you constantly or not. 'No I don't want to go to The Dead Sea right now it’s three in the morning mate,” he said recollecting a common hassle.

The workshop hosted from the 20th to the 22nd of October will allow time for participants to paint a piece of their own on the wall, while having the opportunity to ask any questions along the way. Saying "F**k Trump" is not a good start or other mediocre commentary,” LushSux describes the pointers he would give.

The Walled Off Hotel is also a museum and gallery, opened and financed by infamous graffiti artist, Banksy. LushSux sees the value in having such a welcoming facility right next to the wall as well as providing jobs for the local community. “It is a place considered safe by westerners to visit, enabling them to have a little taste of the whole situation,” LushSux explained. “I used to think Palestine was some terrorist training camp slash rocket laboratory thanks to the media in the west.”  

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