‘Moon Lagoon’ is the nom de plume of a young Australian artist working with the mediums of photography, street art and fashion. Creating works with chaotic perfection, often portraying scenes of violence, nihilism, angst – and importantly, humor.
Having initially worked on paper, graffiti has been a constant love and source of release for ‘Moon Lagoon’, stating;
Riding the trains in Sydney was a pivotal moment for me, art wise. I was glued to the window watching the graffiti as we sped past, I couldn’t get enough of it.
Seeing those hundreds of tags and pieces and throw ups filling every space gave me this joy I had never felt before, the walls were just so alive with energy…
It was all just so mesmerising and raw
(Picture below of some ‘Moon Lagoon’ street art)
With ‘Moon Lagoon’ new to the scene and already creating unique works at a furious pace, now is the perfect time to get to know them by reading the ‘Art Talk’ below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
City, State n Country you currently call home?
Port Douglas, Queensland Australia.
City, State n Country your from?
Tathra, NSW, Australia.
(Picture below of some ‘Moon Lagoon’ art)
Describe a memory from some stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together your pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, romance, school, crime… ANYTHING man!
* age 5 – beginnings:
I remember spending hours catching spiders and grass hoppers and as many different types of insects and putting them all in a empty milo tin to battle to the death gladiator style.
I also remember coming up with the bright idea to attempt to sit on my dog’s back and ride her around the yard like a horse, naturally she bucked me off within seconds and I smashed my head onto a old brick laying about.
I spent the rest of the day in bed trying to understand why my dog hated me and thinking of elaborate schemes to win her affection back.
* age 10 – continuations:
* age 15 – getting serious:
I’d say riding the trains in Sydney was a pivotal moment for me, art wise. I was glued to the window watching the graffiti as we sped past, I couldn’t get enough of it.
Seeing those hundreds of tags and pieces and throw ups filling every space gave me this joy I had never felt before, the walls were just so alive with energy. It was all just so mesmerising and raw.
I love seeing a tag and wondering what the story was of that person’s night, how they came to acquire the paint used, why they thought that particular stretch of concrete or metal was worthy of their artistic expression.
* age 20 – young adult:
I just turned 20 a week or so ago and things are fucking crazy.
I just sleep at friend’s houses and basically only eat maccas when I have the money, it fucking sucks.
I’ve been getting back into street art, so I spend a lot of days looking for super cheap paint and markers to use, and then walking around at night drawing on everything.
Have also been making the most of the local nature and swimming in these beautiful creeks and swimming holes, I feel so alive when I’m surrounded by vibrantly lush plants and crystal clear water. It’s how human’s should be living, it makes me sad thinking how far we have drifted from living in the bush and being able to find our own sources of food, water and shelter compared to now where everything is so complicated and depressing.
(Picture below of some ‘Moon Lagoon’ art)
Eat outside the system, shit inside the system.
Nirvana, snakadaktal, Mazzy Star, old school Kings of Leon, Biggie Smalls.
Favorite TV show(s)?
Beavis and Butthead, Community.
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
No interest in sport, I do practice yoga weekly though which i would say is more about spiritually and improving mental health then psychical exercise, but I’ll still count it. 😉
(Picture below of some ‘Moon Lagoon’ art)
Fight club, Seven, American History X, Jizoe (that documentary about the train painter from Melbourne who manages to live up to every single Lad stereotype), the first Pokemon movie which is an emotional heart wrenching journey from start to finish.
Favorite books and comics?
A Million Little pieces by James Frey, Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, Breathe by Tim Winton
Any biography of a serial killer interests me immensely.
Why the name ‘Moon Lagoon’?
I use to call my Art brand Rasta Pasta, based on that I used to do graffiti under the name Pasta. It was Rasta Pasta for a year or so but then I changed a lot about my art style so it no longer fitted, I literally just loved the word lagoon and looked for a similar word to put at front, hence moon.
Favorite other artist(s)?
I love walking around the street and seeing graffiti, it’s the perfect example of doing art purely for your own enjoyment and not letting it be about money.
Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
I think the worst part is definitely that so many people see success in art as how much money you make or how many paintings/pieces you sell.
For me it’s not about money at all I know that a lot of my fans are broke as fuck (like myself haha) and just like the energy of it.
I think a lot of people think an artist isn’t successful because they aren’t selling much or don’t want to sell their art, and they are really missing the reasoning behind it.
Also that people assume that because you have Drawn/painted/created something you automatically agree with it or are trying to honour it, people are always complaining about my obsession with serial killers and drawing gore.
Everybody that reads this: just because an artist/writer/musician expresses themselves by drawing/writing/painting/
singing about a woman’s corpse being mutilated, does NOT mean they are automatically a sick woman hater who enjoys torturing and condones those actions.
Let people express what they want through their art, there should be no rules or guidelines.
Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?
I love the conversations I have with people buying my shirts or art, like Its not just receiving money and sending a shirt, I love it when they message me and we talk about if they do art too or even just about their own lifestyle, other people’s creativity and style fascinates me.
(Picture below of some ‘Moon Lagoon’ hand made stickers)
Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?
I think once you start to put emotion into something then it really becomes art.
When I used to draw as a kid I didn’t consider it art, however now I do.
That’s the difference between an artist and an illustrator, if they convey emotions through their drawings or not.
When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (drawings, paintings, anything)?
I think I really discovered it as a kid as an outlet for my imagination and energy.
I sometimes think I have un diagnosed ADHD because I get these bursts of pure hyper energy where my mind is running through all these crazy thoughts and scenarios and I can’t sit down and I have to do something to get it out of me. I’d start drawing the monsters I was thinking of inside my head, and then run out of room on the page, so I’d just sticky tape another page on and continue.
I’d usually end up with these collages of fucked up drawings all over my floor.
What did you draw and make as a pre-teen child?
I used to get into loads of trouble at school because I’d just sit in class and draw all in my books and do absolutely none of the school work.
A couple of my teachers got really concerned and quite angry at me because I’d draw these chaotic frantically drawn scenes of people being cut into pieces or huge scenes of aliens shooting each other and blowing planet earth up. To me it was just all mucking around, there wasn’t any deep disturbing meaning behind it, I just loved expressing my pent up energy through crazy drawings.
Then I remember attempting to make comic books staring ‘Racoon Man’ who’s arch enemy was a giant slot machine trying to steal Racoon’s girlfriend every issue. They mostly ended with a bizarre and incredibly painful death for the slot machine haha.
What did you draw and make as a teen?
When I was about 14 or so I started with graffiti, walking around the neighbour tagging everything and making up ridiculous lies to tell my parents when they asked about the paint on my fingers and clothes.
It sounds melodramatic, but I still think now that walking around a city all night throwing up your tags is one of the rawest feelings I will experience.
It is such an intense feeling of being unique to all the conformist sheep driving past, breaking the rules and laws, not listening to what people telling you how to live.
It’s true freedom.
I only really started considering myself an artist about two years ago, when I started abstract with oil pastels. I started drawing faces, and it was the first time in my life I felt this overwhelming sense that what I had drawn actually represented how I felt and how I had imagined it in my mind.
I have actually cried a couple of times after completing a drawing, it’s not a negative feeling it’s just such an intense happiness that I actually created that beautiful piece in front of me.
(Picture below of some ‘Moon Lagoon’ art)
Any pivotal artistic moment/influence?
I remember reading about the artists Keith Haring and Jean Paul-Basquiat and how they would walk around the city just painting their art on whatever they wanted, and it just impressed me that art was no longer about boring folk painting portraits of rich old people and political figures.
I also think reading about artists who literally just squat in empty buildings their entire lives, stealing for food, not giving a fuck about society and just dedicating their lives to art struck something in me.
That level of passion impressed and inspired me simultaneously.
Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?
Last year I really got serious about selling my art printed on t shirts, i don’t know the idea just suddenly came to me.
I like the idea of having as many creative mediums to express myself through as possible.
Describe the process of producing your t-shirts – from original idea, to the art, production and finally holding that sweet sweet product in your hands? (dot point all o.k.)
I usually have some kind of fucked up dream or see something that triggers an idea, which I straight away have to write down before I forget it.
Then I sit down on my back verandah, put my headphones in, pump some music, and just let all my energy flow into the page.
I usually get intensely excited while drawing and have these bursts of extreme pleasure and positive energy, I call them art orgasms haha.
Then I spend about 30 minutes trying to work my printer which I’m sure hates me with every inch of its plastic body.
I don’t edit my scans on the computer besides cropping them, I keep it 100% authentic.
Then I order one to see if it actually looks funky, and if it does, I start selling it.
Simple as that
(Pictures below of some ‘Moon Lagoon’ t’s)
What are your thoughts on the current state of the Australian fashion scene?
The whole wearing short fluro gym shorts and tight singlets and converses makes me cringe unbelievably hard.
I only wear clothes that are second hand or done by an Australian company, so mostly op shop clothes.
People that get their threads from the Op shops have my utmost respect.
Top 5 clothing labels and why?
1. Moon Lagoon
2. Sterile Boys
3. Evil Paradise for the combination of grunge with surfy
4. Arka Vibes for the chilled hippie vibe
5. Philipdearest for his hand draw tee’s with original designs
Odds n Ends
Please describe your experiences growing up in Australia?
I love Australia, I couldn’t picture growing up in any other country.
I lived in a caravan when I was little and we just traveled up the coast, stopping at what little town we wanted to. True freedom.
Who was your 1st crush and why?
I was in year 1, and she was in like year 7.
I somehow convinced myself that she secretly wanted me so I think I tried to hug her one day in the tuck shop line.
Needless to say she told me to fuck off haha.
I then turned my bucket hat inside out with the idea that she wouldn’t be able to recognise me in the playground.
Does sex change everything?
I think sex has sadly lost a lot of its meaning and isn’t as worth much anymore, so I’m going to say sex doesn’t change everything.
(Picture below of some ‘Moon Lagoon art)
Please describe your latest dream in detail…
I had this weird nightmare that this sheep was like glued to my leg, but nobody else could see it, but I could hear it baa-Ing away. Everytime I pulled down my pants to try to confront it it would pretend to be asleep.
Have you ever tried psychedelics of any sort? And what was the experience like?
I have only tried this synthetic weed, which makes you hallucinate.
I remember the entire night I was seeing in a weird diamond tessellation shape, and it felt like somebody was massaging my face and I couldn’t stop laughing.
(Editors Note: Do NOT ever ever ever do synthetic drugs weed – it is crazy! Just track down the real thing!)
Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
Definitely never conforming, and not selling out no matter how much money is offered.
Morals are the important things to us that no amount of money can buy.
Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?
I’m straight edge and coming into 2 years sober this month, so I really despise drugs to be honest.
I completely understand why people take them and I know that they benefit a lot of artist in creativity, but personally I think they are a destructive waste of time. What you are feeling isn’t reality, it’s fake.
People begin to rely on substances to just have a good time with their mates, it’s sad.
Please describe what you think of the Australian Psyche/Zeitgeist is today?
I have no clue what that is haha
Which 1990’s era cartoon, would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why?
I’d love to see a Beavis from Beavis and Butthead dildo, one that does his seedy laugh during penetration and says ‘cool, we are gunna score’ when initially turned on.
Who would win in a fight and why: an Australian bogan on his way home from the pub Vs. A gang of teen surfers fresh from the beach?
Definitely the Surfers.
The bogan would be 20 VBs down and would be at the stage of barely being able to talk/walk, and the surfers would be filled with the testosterone fuelled energy that guys get when surrounded by mates.
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Na man I like to keep it all under wraps!
Any major projects you want to hype?
* silence *