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Luke Gray (UK) is a travelling surrealist painter specializing in large scale paintings on walls and canvas. Born colour blind he was forced to use an almost exclusively black and white palette, working with patterns and textures rather than colour. He draws from traditional Asian decorative arts as well as art nouveau and symbolist painters.
Early in his career he lived in abandoned buildings in London’s squatting community and would make money busking by drawing on the street with chalk in Trafalgar square. In 2013 he started an 8 year journey of hitchhiking around the world painting murals for hostels and bars to support himself, collecting influences and techniques as he traveled.
After visiting over 50 countries he became an established painter inspired by a wide range of multicultural art styles and traditional mediums combining and integrating techniques and patterns from different cultures and religions into his work. His work focuses on the unconscious archetype and surrealist symbolism. Often exploring the concept of the female body-landscape through esoteric symbolism, he weaves together themes of religious ritual, occult mysticism and hallucinogenic visions.
An aspiring ethnologist when travelling, he often visits indigenous tribes; spending time to live with them and learn from them, taking meticulous notes on their textile patterns, tattoo markings and sacred symbols. Whether its living with weaving tribes in the Philippines, drinking psychedelic cactus juice in Peru, dodging missiles in Palestine or milking cows with nomads in Mongolia, he tries to immerses himself in a culture in order to draw inspiration from the world.
He has painted for a range of clients in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Luke went on to paint and design for some notable clients and institutions including:Google London, Oxford University, Kings College, Peroni & Jealous Gallery. His work can be seen decorating, hotels, restaurants, offices and schools.
When not in London or on the road, he lives in the village of Dali, China and is currently renovating a traditional house with his wife turning it into open artist studios for other artists to live & work.