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About Luke Gray
Hailing from Leicester, England, Luke Gray is a surrealist/symbolist illustrator and painter. Born color blind he was forced to use an almost exclusively black and white color palette, working with patterns and textures rather than color. After studying graphic design in London, he packed his bags and flew to Russia, then hitchhiked from Moscow to Thailand painting murals as he went. After four years of traveling, visiting over 50 countries, he settled in Southern China and built a studio from which he now works.
Influenced by multicultural art techniques he works in traditional mediums of Graphite and Ink often combining and integrating techniques and patterns from different countries and cultures into his work. His meticulously detailed works resonate with images culled from the metaphysical realm of sacred states and daydream.
By exploring the concept of the body-landscape through esoteric symbolism, he tries to appropriate a broad scale of subjects that work on both a micro and macro level. Throughout his work, he weaves themes of mysticism, esoteric symbolism, ancient mythology and hallucinogenic visions. ‘I believe art is a manifestation of the divine; we are merely alchemists receiving the information. Artists can see what most people only get a glimpse of’ An amateur ethnologist, when traveling he enjoys visiting indigenous tribes, living with them and learning from them; taking meticulous notes from their textile patterns, handicrafts, tattoo markings and sacred symbols.
Whether it’s sleeping with cannibal yogis in India, drinking psychedelic cactus juice in Peru, climbing active volcanoes in Indonesia, dodging missiles in Palestine, milking cows with nomads in Mongolia, learning bare blade wood carving in Bali or train hopping in the Alps he relishes the process of drawing inspiration from the world. When not in London or on the road, he currently lives in the village of Dali, southern China with his wife Yi and cat Mao.