When we got the email about this show –The Golden Age of Grotesque by SEPE (aka Michał Sepe Wręga), we immediately got very excited as we knew for sure that it would be a good one.
We have been following SEPE at Art-Pie for a while now and know he’s destined to great things and achievement in the art world.
> More pics at the bottom of this article
What is the show about?
“Lawrence Alkin Gallery are thrilled to present ‘The Golden Age of Grotesque’, the provocative and alluring UK debut solo show from Polish street artist Sepe. The brand new body of work explores current socio-political issues, demonstrating Sepe’s unique ability to cross the boundary between subjective and abstract depiction. ” Sam Rhodes, Director at Lawrence Alkin Gallery.
This is the artist’s first solo show in the UK presenting 19 brand new works prepared especially for the exhibition, most of them done in 2015.
There you have it. We unfortunately missed the opening night but to be honest, it is sometimes difficult to fully enjoy the art on display when galleries are overcrowded with people. Instead we visited the next day, only encountering one or two souls wandering the premises. This actually worked out very well as we could thoroughly enjoyed Sepe’s artworks.
As soon as you enter the Lawrence Alkin gallery, you cannot miss a rather imposing piece – “Follow the leader”
Details below of the “Follow the leader” piece
You can’t help but notice the illustrative feel that Sepe’s art transpires.
The artists himself agrees on it “My paintings are strongly rooted in illustration. This way of perception works the best when supported by some kind of story behind it.”
He adds “We managed to gather all humans’ knowledge into one place. Made it available to everyone, everywhere by creating a worldwide network and we use it mainly to share sweet photos of puppies. What is it then if not The Golden Age Of Grotesque…?”
What is the underlying story behind “The Age of grotesque”?
Like many artists featured on this site, Sepe’s background lies in graffiti. He has been an active member of the Warsaw (Poland) graffiti scene where he currently lives.
This exposure to the energy of the city and its streets has definitely opened the artist’s sensitivity and increased his social awareness. Indeed with this show, Sepe wanted to emphasise how the “world gets totally dominated by the vain celebrity culture, focused on creating fake images of itself just for the show and turning everything into pop mush for sale.”
SEPE’s work is centralised around you and me, around humans and perhaps it is about where we are heading to – Modern societies tend to alienate individuals;our only refuge is seemingly joining the crowd where acknowledgment matters most. We then share moments via social media, often with souls unknown to us, and yet somehow that makes us feel good, as though we somehow now belong.
Rhythm and energy
Another remarkable aspect of SEPE’s work is how well he captures life moments on the canvas: bold, energetic and rhytmic. Indeed, his way of applying fat brush strokes gives the viewer a sense of movement and that takes away the static notion of a still scene.
As we were wandering around the gallery, this in particular became more and more obvious as well as remarkable.
The artist’s vision of our current society is not that reassuring and the somewhat recurrent use of circus related elements – circus music, belly dancers, clowns on stilts, monkeys riding small bicycles and firework displays adds to it, making the whole thing very chaotic and scary.
How often are sad clowns used in movies to scare the sh*t ouf of you uh?
The show runs until the 4th July 2015. Find out more about The Golden Age of Grotesque show at Lawrence Alkin Gallery