His early works began to appear in the early 2000’s on walls around central Paris- stencilled quotations taken from seminal works of the French literary canon- and rather than the widespread acclaim and adulation he had hoped for earned him near-universal condemnation and opprobrium, putting him firmly in the sights of the Gendarmerie Nationale.
Upon his return to Britain some years later, he recognised that stencilling lofty French literary quotes on walls was probably an unwise career path upon which to embark. Heavily influenced by the Stencil Movement that had its roots in 1960’s Parisian political protest art, Epi adapted his style, eschewing wall for canvas, appropriating and recapitulating tropes mined from the lexicon of contemporary art with his own inimitable (if at times questionable) flair, and developing a ‘technique’ that would incorporate graffiti, Surrealism, Minimalism, Pop, and mid-century poster art.
At the heart of his work lies a deeply-held disdain for the art establishment- whose staggering ignorance, unbridled pretentiousness and mindless capriciousness he has long found abhorrent- and a desire to poke fun at the very métier in which he chooses to make his living.
His Penguin Books series draws heavily on the work of Harland Miller; his stencilled works are reminiscent of Banksy’s early style, works that he was surrounded by growing up in Bristol in the ‘90s; his fondness for painted typefaces is born of his lifelong passion for the propagandist posters produced at the revolutionary guerrilla printing factory, the ‘Atelier Populaire’, established during the Paris student riots of May 1968.
It is through the recontextualisation of these familiar visual ideas- now indelibly marked upon the cultural landscape- that he hopes to shine a light on the absurdity of modern aesthetic sensibilities and a contemporary art market gone woefully awry.
Epi endeavours to bring his work into the reach of a broader base of art buyers- eschewing the traditionally close-knit, incestuous clique of blue-chip collectors- until such a day that his work starts going for serious money, when he will tell his loyal clients to fuck off and start selling his works to a small coterie of ultra-rich philistines.
Epi now lives somewhere near Bath. He hopes that one day, long after his death, he will finally get the recognition he doesn’t deserve.