"You Spin Me Right Round"

2019, colour screen print, white paper, 70 x 60 cm

Oli Epp figures are mostly approximately human, for all that they typically don’t have eyes, so no windows to the soul and maybe not much soul either. Their big heads balloon to nearly fill his frames. They have cigarettes or pencils or pills where their ears should be, or they’re plugged with earbuds. They have realistic mouths, for all that they’re often vampiric, grasping, and somehow abject. This puts Epp’s paintings in conversation with Pop (indeed, he’s referred to his art as Post-Digital Pop, and one sees particular imprints of Tom Wesselmann and Allen Jones) and Epp is evidently pursuing the question of what a legitimate Pop art might look like today.
His answer is that it must address the particular conditions of modern life outlined above, that it must engage the digital—but also, again, that it must be _post-_digital. It’s important to note that Epp’s artworks are physical, handmade things, replete with the hard-won pleasures of technique. It’s also important that he plants himself, and thus his viewer, strongly in the physical world.

Anatoly Kryvolap

About the artist

Oli Epp (b. 1996) – British artist known for paintings conveys the digital world; mimicking the screen, toying with the physicality of surface. Lives and works in London.
He received his BA in fine art from the City & Guilds of London Art School and has exhibited in Paris, New York, London, Berlin, and Los Angeles. Epp has enjoyed institutional shows at the Schlossmuseum in Linz, Austria, and the Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig. In 2021 Oli Epp's auction record was broken at Phillips's “New Now” sale in London.
His artworks are kept in the Hall Art Foundation, Reading, USA, Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, West Palm Beach, USA V&A, Museum's Permanent Print Collection, London, UK Ruth, Borchard Next Generation Collection, UK.
Among his awards are Jealous Art Prize (2018), Espositivo Residency in Madrid, Spain (2017), Shortlisted for the Griffin Art Prize (2017), Zsuzsi Roboz Scholarship (2017), (Commended) Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize (2017), Idun Ravndal Travel Prize (2016), The Painter-Stainers Scholarship Prize (2015), Prize for Outstanding Work at Foundation Show (2014).
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.