BY LUCY KENWARD
The Corridor Gallery welcomes the much loved Brighton artist Etienne Le Comte to showcase ‘Altered Perspectives’ – a hypnotic new body of work which plays with multiple perspectives, impossible spaces and intense details all lovingly rendered in pen and ink.
The Corridor Gallery will house brand new original pen and ink drawings, offering the viewer a gateway into the uniquely twisted imagination of Etienne Le Comte where futuristic, industrial cityscapes observed from diverse perspectives muddle time, space and narrative. The exhibition blends mathematics, science-fiction, spontaneity and complex storytelling into overwhelmingly detailed drawings that are formed through the chaos of Etienne’s mind.
‘Altered Perspectives’ began as a series of self-motivated exercises based on multiple perspectives that formed a challenging and maddening starting point. Etienne Le Comte is an incredibly ambitious, hard-working artist who is addicted to drawing. This passion for pen and ink borders on obsession, with past particularly intense drawing sessions resulting in temporary blindness.
Etienne attacks each blank page he faces with some sense of order, often starting with a check list of humorous, random ideas to conceal in amongst the highly detailed final image. The artist works from increasingly complex grid templates which act as a skeleton creating a layout for the architecture and a structure within each hand drawn cityscape. The foundations of his drawings create a futuristic metropolis; an industrial labyrinth which is lavishly embellished with overwhelming complexity. Etienne applies madness, invention and chaos to ensure every drawing is both spontaneous and pleasurable for the artist and viewer.
With each finished work it is almost impossible to define any obvious starting or finishing point. According to the artist:
“The objective for every drawing is to achieve a sensory overload”
Etienne creates elaborately impossible hand drawn mazes, loaded with a hypnotic power, drawing one into his tangled industrial vision through rigorous detail and tangled multiple narratives, leaving the viewer reeling and disorientated. Woven in amongst the multiple narratives is Etienne’s distinctively dark gallows humour, reflecting a sense of political unrest amongst the industrial dystopia future he deftly describes through his drawings.
Etienne forged his own unique journey into the art world with a long-standing love affair with drawing, science fiction and 2000 AD comics. Originally a biologist with a keen interest in physiology and genetics Etienne stumbled into drawing when he was cajoled into poster design work for the Bristol punk scene. The addiction to drawing took hold; resulting in an extreme and brave move, quitting his day job, moving to Cornwall and spending an intensive six years learning to draw. This self-taught regime, self-motivation and self-imposed gruelling work schedule continues to inform and develop Etienne’s body of work.
Now residing in Brighton for over a decade, Etienne Le Comte has established himself as a widely respected figure of the Brighton art scene. The artist has filled ‘Etienne (Trafalgar) Street’ with epic large scale versions of his incredible drawings, providing accessible street art for all to enjoy. He has also created some astounding commissioned original works for some of Brighton’s finest independent businesses including Wax Factor Vinyl and The George. Etienne Le Comte is synonymous with the much-loved Brighton gallery and group Art Schism who have championed his unique and complex talent from the beginning, showcasing Etienne’s work consistently in group and solo shows in Brighton. Etienne Le Comte also enjoys regular exhibitions in London at Flaxon Ptootch. ‘Altered Perspectives’ will run from the 6th – 31st July at the Corridor Gallery.