Oli exposes us his illusions of graphic minimalism
In anticipation of his residency at (Es)positivo, Madrid along with his first solo show at Semiose Galerie in Paris, we took a trip out to London-based painter Oli Epp’s studio, based in the heart of London’s city centre (provided by The Koppel Project). “Obstacle course” is perhaps the best way to describe the atmosphere inside the artist’s communal space, whom affirms “you would be surprised that my paintings are so clean and graphic. It’s packed with stuff.” In fact, the graphic aspect in Epp’s paintings is very much linked to his process, being much more akin to that of a designer. Epp plans out his compositions and tries out colour digitally before translating it onto canvas, by using Photoshop as a tool to collage photographic elements or online-found objects while blending digital grading techniques that enhance a strong graphic effect on his works. Making the most out of disorder, Epp’s cluster of mess on the floor is balanced out with his impeccably composed photoshop sketches, along with the artist’s wall displays of Pantone colour tones, not to mention a timeline of year’s work stuck in the room’s entrance. Crammed on the floor there was a selection of earlier works, giving visibility to the gradual development of his work – from his first year’s realistic self-portraits to his current ambiguous characters – all works, mostly grounded in autobiography, become mirrors for the viewer to re-view themselves in.