It had been a long-ass week by the time my colleague and snug-bug-friend Loz and I turned up at the private view for Florian Eymann’s exhibition, Pysche Soma, at Lawrence Alkin Gallery in central London.
I really like how this collage makes it look like the bloke is exasperated at us….
Workplace stress and sporadic-at-best assertiveness had made it a tough couple of days. But as it happened, that mindset helped us see the works in the way they were meant to be seen. Psyche Soma was named after the thought process in our brains, and tying that to the relationship between the mind and the body. What’s going on inside is reflected on the outside, as these works show.
As I understand it, the artist doesn’t like being compared – which artist does? – but let’s be honest: to ignore the allusions to Francis Bacon would be forced. Don’t believe me? Check this out. And this.
There’s a distorted reflection of the classic portrait style you might see in a Rubens retrospective. It’s all the more impressive when you consider the fact that the artist is self-taught.
He recently spoke to the writers at one of my favourite blogs, Creative Boom, and revealed that the works in this collection intend for the viewer to:
“delve into their own psyche to fill in the gaps and create each piece as a whole… People often shut away their feelings as a defence mechanism, but this causes bigger conflict within the body. I want my work to unlock doors in the viewer’s mind.”
And he certainly unlocked one door in my mind. Traditionally, I’ve found myself drawn to large-scale, anguished and textured oils and hardly given small watercolours a second look. It seemed to me that in this show, the most curious works were the understated, delicate watercolours. If I wasn’t already on the Own Art scheme with a particularly expensive Connor Brothers piece which is financially crippling me (but worth every penny), I’d have snapped up one of those in an instant.
You can see the 23 artworks in Psyche Soma, Florian Eymann’s first London solo show until June 3rd 2017. You can check out the details about the show here.