Oli Epp U.K., b. 1994
"I have never done street art or graffiti. I think that the connection has been made because I used to use spray paint in my work and flat bold colours. My inspiration to do that was drawn more from the history of pop art and advertising, such as with the Chicago imagists, for instance." - Oli Epp
Oli Epp's paintings circulate a number of themes to do with the tragicomic element of living in the 21st century society, dealing with the complexity of identity and anxieties living in the digital age; consumerism and consumption which leads to control and addiction, anxiety and conflict. The paintings work in an endlessly cyclical way of Epp ironically questioning idealisms and our pursuit of perfection and the conflict that arises as a result.
The work is centred around the body and its relationship with the world and others, its shape accentuated; large heads, exaggerated limbs, flattened, almost cartoon-like. But don't be mistaken, what Epp does with these avatar-esque almost naïve, narcissistic and sometimes sexualised figures in his paintings is convey an externalisation of internal conflicts or states. Underneath the bright pop aesthetic often lies a darker more sobering narrative.
The overall aesthetic of Epp's paintings conveys the digital world; mimicking the screen, toying with the physicality of surface. The flatness and luminosity of his work reflects our complex relationship with technology; how we use it as extensions of oneself or as a pretence of one's personality, as a façade.