Filled with wood skateboard-inspired pieces and abstract paintings with playful use of resin, Luke Chiswell’s most recent collaboration show with Tappan Collective was a glimpse into what he’s been working on during his short residency in LA. “I’ve been here for a couple months,” Chiswell says. “I came for a show and also wanted to see if it’s somewhere I could live. I’ve bounced back and forth between Australia and New York, but I love the people here.”
The Aussie-born artist shows the influences of his upbringing in the bush as well as his love for skating growing up. You can see the merging of skating’s nonchalance and the natural environment of his childhood in his work. “It was kind of hard out in the middle nowhere. If I wanted to skate I would have to ask my parents to drive me into town. My dad actually put a slab of cement on our property. It was just this square I would skate around in circles. It was my favorite thing.”
Besides the physical release of skating, Chiswell says that the act itself causes the mind to see the world around you in a different light. Elements of architecture and the perspective of travelling by board allowed him to re-imagine the use of ordinary objects, which feeds into his work and practice. “It relates to everything I do and have tried,” he says. “A set of stairs becomes something more than a set of stairs. We would take road trips and I would be watching out the window, thinking about how I’d skate off that. It’s a lot like how I do my art. You visualize it before you do it, and then you set out and attempt to create it.”
Chiswell has been around the world post art-school. On his list of things he finds inspiring? The niche obsession culture of Japan. “I like how they choose one thing, a small toy, and fixate on those things. The people also have such a respectful and kind nature.” In the process of opening his LA show when we had our conversation, Chiswell spoke about the difference in the creative process when working toward an opening and being able to do things at your own pace. “I think my work between shows is more experimental. I like bouncing around and seeing what happens, but I also like that drive to complete. The process when you can evolve allows you to refine.”
It’s this ability to allow for growth as an artist while keeping an eye on what’s next that allows Chiswell to continue in his craft. His cross-platform foray into clothing, sculpture and canvas show that the modern artist won’t stay in one lane. If they’re able to imagine it, they’ll kick and push forward.