An exhibition of peculiar cityscapes and surreal happenings.
Every once in a while an artist comes along whose work doesn't just gain your attention, it grabs you by the shoulders and demands to be seen.
Now 35, Emmesse achieved success early on in his career with cityscapes, often of his hometown, Manchester. These are highly skilled works with muted colours, plenty of atmosphere and with more than a few similarities with the French painter Maurice Utrillo; but given creative freedom, he feels compelled to create his own distorted reality. You could also describe it as an additional reality or the fourth dimension. A strange blue man sits next to a lamp post. A pink fox strolls down the street and a UFO occupies the same space as the other figures in the picture. They are part of our lives but the figures in the painting don't see them. It takes the vision of the artist to reveal what is going on all around us.
Self taught, Emmesse has an anarchic past with all his learning coming from trial and error. It is an open book, but one which we can all relate to. When not painting his cityscapes and less bound by the geometry of the city, Emmesse paints a riot of colour and shapes. His work lays his hopes and fears, issues and successes bare. However, even the darkest pieces of work have a sense of humour about them.
At first sight his work is chaotic but seeing the whole collection gives you a rounded perspective of the character creating them. Each piece has a point to make and many owners of Emmesse's work find shapes, faces and figures long after they have bought the piece. All of Emmesses work has the dichotomy of good and evil, darkness and light shown side by side and creating a certain balance. Emmesse is constantly questioning our perception of reality and it is something he expresses in his paintings and links all his work together.
A show certainly not to be missed.
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