Filthy Luker

You know those massive inflatable eyes that you’ve seen stuck in trees at Glastonbury? Or massive plug holes or banana skins or Space Invader games or huge pencils or rockets appearing in the street? Yeah? Well they were done by Filthy Luker. You’ve probably also seen those huge tentacles erupting out buildings that he did with fellow artist Pedro Estrallas. Somewhere between street artist and installation king, I’m going to call him a street installer.

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Why do you do what you do? 
It’s a filthy job but someone’s got to do it.

How did you start with the tentacles coming out of buildings? How did you even go about doing that?
Self taught, through experimentation we had been making weird inflatable sculptures for clubs and festivals for around ten years. The tentacles were one of a few a prank ideas that Pedro and I had kicking around a few years previously and finally one day the time was right and I got round to doing it. The first tentacle design was really simple and took me less than a day to make the three 12ft tentacles and install them. The installation got such a good instant public reaction, it was a revelation to me that after a decade of making more and more complicated inflatables such an easy thing to make could have such an impact.

How did you get into making these massive interventions?
With inflatables it’s easy to make big things and therefore rude not to. After years of making things for events I just got bored of waiting for events to happen and for people to pay me to make things and just started making stuff for myself and the  installations became events in themselves.

If money wasn’t a problem, what street intervention/art attack would you like to do most anywhere, ever? 
I would quite like to put giant Groucho Marx glasses, nose and moustache on the Sphinx… Or a huge pink dildo over the Washington Monument outside the White House

What’s your favourite piece you’ve done and why?
I just like having an ever expanding bag of bizarre over-sized props. For example the other day when I was invited to exhibit in an art show in a squatted Victorian swimming baths with a huge empty swimming pool. I was able to pull out a giant bath plug.

What’s your favourite place that you’ve placed some of your trademark eyes?
I wouldn’t say publicly that it’s my favourite place, but sticking eyes above urinals to make them look like gaping mouths is always a winner. It brings out men’s evil side but it makes them aim a bit better.

What projects are you working on?
We are in the process of making the tentacles thrash about with a digitally controlled system incorporating hacked windscreen wiper motors and brake cables.

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