If all this fun, merriment and sunshine is getting just a little bit grating, there’s nothing like the macabre to wipe the smiles off those smug faces adorning the streets like irritating strands of scraggy bunting.
For a morbid antidote to all the festivities, head down to the No Brow gallery in east London next week, for Midlands-born artist Stuart Kolakovic’s exhibition, Under the Damp Earth.
His show will see the gallery’s basement space used for the first time, and will feature a shrine-like shed installation filled with little pictures of the weird, the wonderful and the deathly.
Kolakovic is, punningly, an ‘illuskater’ – yup, an illustrator and a skater, who draws on his Serbian heritage to create illustrations suffused with humanity post flesh and blood, morbidity and gloom.
Sam Arthur, from Nobrow gallery, says, ‘I think [the exhibition] is him letting loose. As he’s a commercial illustrator, he has to do lots of shiny, happy stuff – this is more what he wants to do. It’s a bit of a release I think – it’s very macabre and quite gothic, but quite fun.’
Our mortality-preoccupied artiste draws his influences from religious Greek orthodox iconography and Eastern European folk art.
Kolakovic says the show will be, ‘A mixture of the kitsch, flat coloured, eastern European influenced work I’m known for as an illustrator and debuting a new, darker style of work weaved into my first installation piece that is spread over two floors of the Nobrow Gallery.’
He adds, ‘I find Illustration can be quite confining; having to adhere to quick turnarounds or very specific briefs. So I try to indulge myself as much as possible with other, more personal projects in my spare time.’
Under the Damp Earth is showing from 5 May – 23 June at Nobrow Gallery, 62 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A