About the exhibition
Streaming the Subconscious:
The art of Ehoodi Kichapi.
'Naive Art' is an art movement that attempts to realign the creation of art to it's roots. It's credo might go something like this: the mind of a child, uninhibited and untutored, is a reservoir of expression rendered in art as the spontaneous emanation of the subconscious mind. Raw and honest; naked and unselfconscious; uncontaminated by affectation and insincerity, this purity of artistic expression is it's holy grail.
There is something compelling in this. The problem is: how does the enculturated, tutored adult mind create art with the honesty of the tabula-rasa child when to do so itself is to dissemble? Perhaps on this single stumbling-block, Naive Art frequently fails.
Ehoodi Kichapi is not a child. Nor does he have the mind of a child. He is an intelligent 36 year old with a great sense of humour, an inquiring mind and a propensity for polemic. But, above all else, there is one characteristic he holds in unusual abundance: he is astonishingly uninhibited, particularly about himself. You will hear him declaring in public, at the top of his voice, personal details the likes of which the rest of us would ardently seek to conceal even from ourselves. His mind and daylight are in continuity. Ehoodi is an artist; more specifically, he's a Naive Artist.
First reactions to the art of Ehoodi Kichapi are as an encounter with the possessed. Laying down your crucifix and garlic you'll soon see that, for all the graveyard imagery, it's more like a child's sketch pad of his favourite scary tales than The Handbook of Head-shrinking. His pictures are awash with motifs, icons and symbols that are his messengers. But for many, the power in his art emerges in other ways to which he seems oblivious. In a single child-like doodle, he has the ability to caricature human idiosyncrasy, often projected anthropomorphically in the image of an animal and capturing too the essence of that animal. And it seems that this process is automatic: he is not aware of what he's doing; he is not present between his subconscious mind and the canvas; like the child, whatever is in there goes straight through the brush; he can't stop it. As with the best of childrens' tales, he deals with some very grown-up issues, but if you hang out with an Ehoodi Kichapi for any length of time you will experience something even more rewarding: embedded in his art is a warm, satirical wit.
A reservoir of spontaneous expression? Projectile emanations of the subconscious mind? He does seem to be the real thing.
So, can he pull it off?
Yes, he really can.
More on Ehoodi Kichapi
Preview of Works
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Exhibition openings are usually on the last Saturday of every month, excluding December. The gallery remains open on Sundays allowing anyone who missed the opening to catch the exhibition the next day. Do join our mailing list so we can send you an invitation.