Paul Insect will be opening a new solo show Reflective Minds at Allouche Gallery on September 8th, about a year and a half since his last showing in New York. Continuing in the same vein of the works he showed back in 2016 in NYC and later that year in London, the British artist created a new series of his recognizable, often abstract, graphic-based take on classic portraiture. We got an opportunity to peek inside Insect's studio as he was preparing works for Reflective Minds and talk with him about this new body of work, as well as new concepts he will be introducing for the first time:

Sasha Bogojev: How long did you work on this show?
Paul Insect: I have been working on making pieces for the show, on and off for the past eight months, along with various other projects in-between. The largest of those projects was an interactive puppet installation with Bast in the Shangri-La field at this years Glastonbury Festival.

How many pieces are there in total?
There are around 15 key paintings with various smaller mixed media pieces and works on paper.

Are the works somewhat similar to those in your last New York and London shows? if so, in what way?
They are, looking further at who we are. This time, a lot of the works have a second side to them; there is a reflective element to the paintings and some of the mixed media works.

If you take a photograph with your flash turned on, the pictures will reveal their hidden side.

Given the recent political events, can you feel any difference in NY/US since your last show in 2016?
America is a different beast to what it was 7 months ago. The political world has been shaken and twisted dramatically, and since I was last in America a year ago, a village idiot has been allowed to take power of the country, and fear is the new buzz word. I look forward to being there again.

Who are the people you're portraying?
Everyday people. Not people who desire fame

Is there a general story/idea/concept around the show?
There are two sides to people; the side you want everyone to see, and the side you would rather keep to yourself. Its been a continuing concept through out my work, people hiding their real selves. This time, you can see part of the hidden side with the works reflecting that.

The show includes some new concepts and style of works, can you tell us a bit about those new still lives?
The still lives are works on paper, pieces I make in-between painting larger works, they're a melting pot of objects and symbols. I think they show how I felt at the time of making the work for the show, and the chaos in the world currently.

Do you have any releases planned for the show?
There will be a two prints available from the gallery/show only, as with my last show in London Show. I shall also be finally releasing new prints and various other studio pieces through a new on-line shop later this year.

How about any plans for after this show?
Bast and I have been talking about doing something at the end of the year, but that will only happen if we get the time. There are a couple of big projects coming up next year which will take up most of 2018, but sadly, I can’t talk about those currently.

Interview by Sasha Bogojev