Semiose established itself in the artistic landscape as a gallery whose aesthetic values are rooted in the margins of art. Nourished by underground culture, the gallery is committed to forms and ideas born in the political, social and geographical fringes. The practice of citation is a common reference point for the roster of artists. It raises complex issues related to the production and dissemination of images, the role and purpose of archives and visual culture in the broadest sense. Semiose champions an aesthetic based on questions of taste and consequently of cultural hierarchies. Techniques such as collage, appropriation and cultural subversion are shared by many of the artists, leading to a converging interest in referencing reality.
Oli Epp’s paintings are autobiographical, sometimes confessional, sometimes irreverent and frequently handled with a humorous sense of pathos. Oli Epp focuses on situations that either involve him or others, in public and private moments that pass by at a glance, as unremarkable. But documenting these unreported tragedies in paint is, for him, an act of discovery. He wants his imagery to feel familiar to as many people as possible, to draw out the ridiculous comedy of certain shared rituals and behaviours, by economizing on the essence of the situation and creating simplified humanoid characters, which lend a sort of parody of the real world in the way that cartoons do. Oli Epp uses the visual language of branding and interplay between graphic and painterly surfaces to create optical confusion, echoing the way that our real and digital lives are merged.