I’m really fascinated with the surreal sense of escapism that nostalgia brings; an object’s ability to transport you to another place and time with a whole different set of rules and values, hence my use of found or discarded objects.
Name: DUX (Luke Haggart)
Current Location: Inner-West Sydney
Sydney street artist, sculptor and musician ‘DUX‘ aka ‘YOUNG PIZZA’ was christened by the street art world after he began physically remixing the constructs of small rubber ducks and placing them in public areas…his tag on the streets. With art interests inspired by the street and an incredibly inquisitive mind, DUX is still in high school and achieving great feats. At age 17, he still has one more year of school to complete before he is set free into the ‘real’ world and who knows what DUX will be able to accomplish once he has more time on his hands. AR hung out with Dux in his creative space…
When I was a child I wanted to be.. either an author or firefighter or complete cow-skin bashing rockstar…it was always changing. Maybe I’ll never grow up and so my career choices will keep changing like days of the week. The other day marine biology sounded interesting… or is there any money left in poetry anymore?
My heros are… Of course my parents, but I had some really over-zealous teachers in high school who went above and beyond to put some zest back into education. I had heaps of fun throughout high school thanks to my music and art teachers who have imparted some gnarly life wisdom. My high school (Dulwich Hill) was generally vital in nurturing my creative and literary interests though; big ups to (most) of my high school teachers wherever you are!
The studies I took to get where I am…I’m still at school at the moment so not much has been done in the way of studying for my practice other than what I’ve been putting together at school. In saying this however, my school is one of the only high schools to have a primary focus on visual arts and design in the state and there have been heaps great opportunities that I’ve received from being there. One in particular was the chance to work with creative youth organisation ‘I-MANIFEST’ who have been instrumental in allowing me to make the right industry connections and further progress in my art career.
I’m most creative when…I’m isolated in my home studio space surrounded by miscellaneous toy parts or old found objects. It’s also nice to have a variety of creative outlets at hand in case I’m feeling more inspired in one medium than another. I might make some progress on a sculpture or two, then get bored and move onto working on a zine or start making some beats if it feels right. It’s important that I have plenty of time to dedicate to my art making in case I get lost in it, so it’s best not to have any plans later that day in order to allow those creative vibes to flow naturally. Business and mess clogs my mind from freely creating so I find my creative process is quite energetically linked with my emotional state. When it comes to writing however, it’s good to be in a nice, calm environment with very few distractions.
The tools I can’t live without are…probably my journal/pen , Stanley knife, hand-drill, a variety of glues and my laptop. These things are all super important in making stuff/gaining inspiration.
I’m currently reading...‘Illusions : The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, ‘1984’, ’Neuromancer’ and always a copy of ‘New Philosopher’. It’s nice to switch between a range of books depending on my interests at the time.
I’m generally inspired by…natural processes, particularly the cyclical nature of mortality in biological life. This constant metamorphic process of destruction and renewal is becoming a key concept of my practice, paying tribute to those whom have passed and reinvesting their lifeforce into new forms. Generally, I think there is a lot to be learned from our past; by reminiscing on one’s past and connecting to our origins and experiences we may understand more about our ourselves and the direction of our future. Also I’m really fascinated with the surreal sense of escapism that nostalgia brings; an object’s ability to transport you to another place and time with a whole different set of rules and values, hence my use of found or discarded objects. Each little cut of timber or rusted scrap metal has a story and a personality which combine to form a rich experience of a time gone by. Similarly, the use of toys allows me to connect with my understanding of nostalgia as a youth, reigniting the same simple and consoling pleasures that I received from playing with toys as real young lad.
The website I hang out on the most…would probably be Youtube or Soundcloud, purely because they’re great devices for discovering new music, which I’m perpetually on the hunt for. It sounds pretty lame but I do frequent theasuarus.com pretty often to find new words or other ways of saying things.
I’m currently listening to…lots of old ska and reggae music, particularly Desmond Dekker, The Skatalites and UB40; I can’t get that ‘Red Red Wine’ song out of my head. Nevertheless, great summer holiday music/vibes.
My favourite place in the world…would have to be Neilson Park Beach in Sydney. Super chill ocean, with a hectic view of the city and plenty of natural environment to explore. It’s the summer go-to.
I would like to travel…all across Europe and South America. Mexico and Cuba have been calling out to me but friends and relatives in Geneva, London and Berlin make the Europe scene equally as appealing. For now, I’d love to explore more in depth the east-coast of Australia; sleep in a car, travel where the wind blows – that sort of thing. Q. 12
My travel essentials are…Phone, Wallet, Passport, earphones, a big smile and an open mind! The rest is in the hands of the universe to dictate how these things come into play!
One thing I’d like to do that I haven’t got around to yet…is find an average sized studio space to create larger works. I also can never fully finish a song when I start making beats on my laptop; it would be nice to finish one…. one day…
One of the obstacles that have come my way…would be my age. Being a youth has sometimes prevented me from seeing or displaying artworks in galleries which have been in pubs or otherwise over 18s venues. In saying this, my age has also helped me in many ways, particularly in receiving awesome opportunities and support as a young, punting artist. At the end of the day, the biggest obstacle for most people would be money. If I had more cash, I could move into a studio, use more expensive materials/tools and put on more independent shows as well as support other upcoming artists. But everything takes time, and I so every obstacle I embrace, because it will produce some form or gain or growth, even if I may not see it at the time.
The highlights over the past 12 months have been…falling in love with the exchange student, curating my own group show and beginning to understand what it means to be in the world.
The latest project I’m working on…would have to be my Yr. 12 Visual Arts body of work. There are a bunch of other awesome art competitions and prizes which I’d love to be entering right now but I feel I should give my high school major work a good go before I walk out the door. Plenty of great photos to come!!! Other than that, I’m putting together a zine of my own photography, and also putting pieces together for a YOUNG PIZZA zine or video. Who knows though, let’s see what 2016 has to offer!!!
The advice I would give to someone wanting to get into my profession…well…I think what I do is pretty far from a profession but anyone trying to get somewhere with their art should always have goals but never expectations. It’s awesome when things work out the way you envision them but often this is not the case and you must adapt to the situation at hand. Whatever happens, there is always growth to be had from your experiences.
Generally speaking, being an artist is quite competitive and difficult to make a career from but this is what forces you to create your best, most unique works; the struggle makes you, you.
I think by not setting expectations, then things take place quite naturally anyway, if you go with the flow of it all. Appreciate everything that comes your way and especially embrace the challenges. Do what you love and, without expectations, you can never be disappointed! Also consider and respect these things for those around who are equally trying their hardest to succeed!
You’re also going to need a lot of help to get where you need to go so always be kind and understanding for those around you and help where you can. The currency of the creative industry are favours; exchange them!
Do what you want…and help others do it too!!!
Photography: Katie Karrs
Interview: Michelle Owen