Monday, 4 April 2011

When is a massive Ego good? When it is on your wall

EXPECT the excited chatter of artistic teeth to be heard all over the south coast during the next few weeks - thanks to an exhibition taking place at Hastings's Weekend Gallery.

Seattle-based Ego has gathered together a gaggle of his creepy canvases (or should that be canvasi?) for what is his first foray across the Pond.

Heavily influenced by the more macabre side of tattoo culture, street art and underground fine art, it is perhaps fitting his first tentative steps outside his homeland will be taken in 1066 Country - complete with its blossoming street art scene. A perfect pool in which to dip his unique artistic toe.

Ego's work boasts a flair for the darker side of whimsy, and much of Ego’s eye-catching collection takes the viewer to an ‘other world’ populated by creepy, yet charming characters.

And, speaking to me just before he jumped on board a plane and headed for the UK, the artist said he could not ruddy well wait to get here and introduce his work to a new audience.

“I’m hoping to spread some goosebumps across the Pond and infect a whole new continent with my creepy creatures and oddities," he said. Rather enthusiastically.

His approach to art, you see, is as eclectic as it is unique. However, despite the darker side of his personality more often than not finding itself in the artistic ascendancy over his more mellow temperament, people shouldn’t be put off or fear a ghoulish gore-fest.

Ego explained: “I’d like to think my creations aren’t so creepy as to turn people off, rather provide a focus for their morbid curiosity.

“It’s been said of my work that, while it does, indeed, tend to be a bit dark, there is also a kind of naive innocence in the creatures that inhabit the macabre little world I’ve created.”

So, a bit like the fairies at the end of your garden only in Halloween masks.

Back home in the Good Old U S of A, fans have taken to using his work as inspiration for tattoos.

Whether his haunting images will soon be getting inked onto the backs of art fans in Hastings remains to be seen, but you can guarantee his work will leave an indelible impression on most who see it.

Ego is at the Weekend Gallery, High Street, Hastings, East Sussex throughout April.

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