English artist Richard Epps brings icons to life with bold color and vivid awareness. He delves deep into popular (and sometimes unpopular) culture to bring us images of individuals we need to know and revere. Richard lives his life with an unconstrained pursuit of freedom which is blatantly explicit in his work. Heart tugging art takes many different forms and Style.No.Chaser gives Richard Epps two huge thumbs up for his brave and very memorable depiction of idols.
See Richard’s perceptive words, beautiful images and gifs (for good measure) below …
“Learn to say fuck you to the world once in a while …”
Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where you live now, etc.?
I was born in Woolwich, South London in 1967. I’m married to Diane and we have 2 children, Jessie and Callier. We live in Margate which is on the South Coast of England. It’s a fantastic place with miles of beautiful sandy beaches, well worth a visit. As well as making art I sometimes DJ locally and I’m also a volunteer Lifeboat crew member for the RNLI. This involves rescuing people that are in difficulties at sea.
What does your art mean to you?
Making art is something I have always done and always will do.
How do you describe your form of art?
It’s an illustrative form of portraiture. I come from a background of illustration and graphic design so I guess it’s inevitable that comes across in my work.
What tools do you use for the creation of your work and how did you create your personal art style?
Most of my recent work has been computer based. I make drawings and textures on paper and then scan them. Then I work in Photoshop using layers to build up to the final image.
What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?
Nobody could ever be more critical of my work than me but I did once go to an open artists critique session. That was a mistake; the group spent almost an hour talking about one of the artist’s work – drawings of twigs. The sketches were just a single brush mark on paper but they were talking about the meaning behind them and how they related to the fragility of life etc. They spent so long talking that they had no time for my work. I’ve had lots of compliments about my work but I tend to believe it more when someone puts their hand in their pocket and buys something.
Which artist/s do you look up to the most?
When I was at college we were taught by Shari Peacock. She was absolutely brilliant. She made us look at what we were drawing and not the drawing itself. If she caught you looking at the paper then you had to model for the next drawing, and nobody wanted to do that. The piece of artwork that has made the biggest impression on me is Breakdown by Michael Landy in which he destroyed all of his possessions.
Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?
My Father was the most stylish man I’ve known. It wasn’t so much what he wore but the way he wore it. He was always comfortable in whatever he was wearing and that showed. I think that’s the secret, no matter what you’re wearing, be comfortable and don’t look like your trying too hard. The one item of clothing that I wouldn’t be without is my Clarks Originals desert boots. There’s a great book called Clarks in Jamaica by Al Fingers.
What is your personal life philosophy?
Stop it and just DO! This is from a letter that Sol Lewitt wrote to Eva Hesse in 1965, it’s definitely worth reading the whole thing. Sometimes, as an artist it can be incredibly hard to get started. You can be frozen into a state of doing nothing through self-doubt and insecurity. Sol Lewitt writes “Learn to say fuck you to the world once in a while”. Its great advice and a very inspirational letter – It may even have inspired the Nike slogan “Just Do It” which has not done too badly for them.
What is your favorite movie and why?
As a teenager it was definitely Quadrophenia starring Phil Daniels and Leslie Ash. Me and my mates watched that at least 20 times. One of my favourites ever has to be Sexy Beast starring Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley. It grips you from the opening scene and all of the performances are fantastic, especially Ben Kingsley as the psychopathic Don Logan.
How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?
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