The run up to degree shows across London’s art schools are always exciting times, they’re even more so when you spot the exceptionally talented new artists ready to rise. Introducing Oli Epp.
His autobiographical, humorous and occasionally ridiculous paintings are a breath of fresh air and so exciting! I ask him some questions as he prepares for his degree show at City & Guilds of London Art School.
I know the feeling after graduating only last year; the final show is the busiest and most chaotic part of the degree course. How are you handling it? Stressing out or super calm?
I haven’t really thought about it. It’s all just happening. However, I’d definitely like to promote that I’m super calm, but my peers would probably tell you I’ve been running around like a headless chicken.
A little birdy tells me you’ve already sold all of your paintings before the show has begun. Tell me more.
Yeah, that is true. It was a crazy weekend. I had already sold two of the six pieces when a collector from Ireland purchased my painting ‘Aftersun’. He posted it on his Instagram on Saturday and by Monday morning at 4am everything had sold. I had collectors from Canada, Sweden, Germany and the States requesting info packages and photographs of the available paintings. I stayed up all night on Sunday sending out details and invoices. It seems that collectors are really in tune with what's in each other’s collections. But I’m currently working on one more painting in the exhibition space… it's massive, 3 x 2.5 metres. It will need to be dismantled after the show as it doesn’t fit out the door.
Tell me a little more about what you enjoy most about the creating of your paintings and their element of fun.
I like painting things that haven't been painted before or that have been underrepresented in art history; from someone using a sunbed or visiting a McDonalds Drive Thru. It’s an ongoing project but over time I envision my works forming an archive or an encyclopaedia of human behaviours and habitual rituals.
How excited are you for the showing of this body of work and opportunities that could arrive post-graduation?
I’m wildly excited. The paintings look so much better in life so I’m glad people will have a chance to view them before they disappear. Amazing opportunities are already beginning to surface. I’ve been asked to exhibit in a group shows in Brighton and Copenhagen before the New Year and I’m currently planning a solo show in London next year. I feel like I’ve hit the ground running. I’ve got a handful of commissions to complete over Summer, as well as a gazillion new drawings for future paintings that I’m just itching to start.
Now you know I really want one of your paintings for my own collection, when can I get my hands on one?
Add your email to my mailing list on www.oliepp.com I’ve promised to send out new works to collectors who missed out on my Degree Show paintings. Or even better follow my Instagram, the works usually appear there first.
Thank you! x
Follow Oli Epp on Instagram @oli.epp