Laurie Vincent isn’t just the guitarist in Slaves, the fearsome two-man punk band from Kent. He’s also a visual artist and will exhibiting his work at The Amersham Arms, a south-east London boozer, this Saturday (March 19). A colourful, lighthearted collection, the paintings poke fun at religion, explore conspiracy theories and often feature plastic bags. We headed to his tiny studio, tucked away in an unpromising industrial estate in Lewisham, south-east London, to get the stories behind some of pieces.
Mockery of organised religion is a constant in Laurie’s art. However, he says: “I think faith is wicked and I admire people who believe in a higher power. The skateboarder Rodney Mullen is so intelligent he’s come to the conclusion that you have to believe in religion because there’s no answer. If you’re super-intelligent, you think: ‘Fuck! There has to be more [to life] because it’s insane.'”
‘Mike’: “Growing up, everyone assumed Tyson was a really bad person, but I watched a film on him recently and realised he worked really hard to do what he wanted to do. He thought villains got remembered so he decided that’s what he was gonna be. He was boxing with STDs, he had bronchitis and still knocked someone out in the first round.”
‘Flower Pot’: “I do a clothing line, Young Lovers’ Club, and this is almost a crossover. I put this logo in my paintings now. Another thing I love about art: the simplistic kids’ drawing style. I love Andy Warhol because his whole thing was: ‘What can I get away with?’ This took me 10 minutes but maybe one day a Russian billionaire will pay millions for it and I’ll be like, ‘What a dickhead’.”
These Laurie Vincent initials might be worth millions one day.
‘Balaclava’: “People think this is Pussy Riot, but it’s not. I just saw a photo of a girl in a magazine wearing a balaclava. I like to paint things as simply as possible – it’s actually a really sloppy painting, but because it’s such a simple thing, you instantly know what it is. I’ve done a full-length version, which is a mermaid holding a machine gun.”
‘Lidl 13’: “There’s a theme running through the exhibition – the paintings all pose questions. I poke fun at everything. People call my paintings cartoons and that annoys me. When you see them in real life, there’s real texture. I always have to get a shopping bag in too. I always put in three stars, as well – it’s like a nativity theme, following the stars.”
‘Mind Control’: “Behind this was an old painting of a house, which I didn’t like, so I painted over it. It’s all based on the theory that fluoride – which is in your drinks and toothpaste – actually blocks out your third eye and suppresses it. If you avoid fluoride – using natural toothpaste and drinking bottled water instead of tap water – you can open up your third eye.”