I paint from experience. It is important for me that art works as a tool for enhancing the experience of living. A tool for learning by experience. Drawing or painting help me focus the attention on one thing for an extended period of time. Longer than usual. By involving my entire body in “seeing” and expressing aspects of life, the knowledge obtained in the act is processed and stored differently than if I had only used my brain. The experience becomes part of my physical self.
When this is said, my art also serves the function of tricking memories, when I look at it. Memories are tricked by lines and colours. By subject matter and composition. Looking at art, that I made years ago, recalls memories obtained at the very moment of creation. As fresh as if it was happening right now!
How did you get interested in art?
I first realised, that art was art, in grade 10, when my teacher brought us to the museum of art and explained, why. From that point on, I used the “perspective of art” to better understand the mystery of life. When all my friends stopped drawing, I continued. I found that drawing was the activity, that brought me closest to being myself. As a teenager this was a wonderful realisation that literally saved my life. Later I decided to make a profession out of my passion and attended art school.
What are your sources of inspiration?
I still don’t know where inspiration comes from. It depends on the state of mind and the sources seem to vary from time to time. More important is, that I prepare for the moment of inspiration. If I am not ready to act on inspiration, then it will vanish like dew before the sun and leave me with nothing but frustration. That is why I try to plan my day so, that there is time, space and resources to act upon inspiration. Inspiration can be a great source of artistic creation. It can fill a person with visions and desire and mental energy to do something about it.
What are you most proud of in your life?
I feel proud each time I turn ideas into action and accomplish what I set out to do. But the “proud feeling” is short lived. Nothing in life makes me proud for life. Feeling proud is like feeling angry, happy, sorry or embarrassed. These feelings come and go and pull us around in the circus stage of life. Leaving us confused and exhausted.
Knowing the person behind a creation adds a dimension of reflection and reveals the “heart” of the art.
This is his Giclée print on canvas “Kontrolleret kaos 1″ (“Controlled chaos”)
682 USD (4.500DKK)
Who are your favourite contemporary artist?
My favourite artists are the ones I know personally. The ones I can relate to. I enjoy art at the museum, but my favourite art is by the hand of people I have a personal relation to. Knowing the person behind a creation adds a dimension of reflection and reveals the “heart” of the art. As a collector of art, I care mostly for art made by people I care for. If a person irritates me, then I get bothered by looking at their art as well. One of my favourites of all time is my old school buddy, Wictor Sandovicz, who is still living in Vancouver. He combines his brilliant line with a rare wisdom and sensitivity. The results excite me very much, and I never tire from looking at his art.
How would you describe your style?
You may recognise my work in the line, composition, colour, and subject matter, but it would require a trained eye. My style is difficult to decide as it changes in expression from one moment to the next. I shuffle between abstract and figurative. Between the symbolic and the concrete. I like to observe the world and all its wonders. I try to draw what I see. I rarely draw out of imagination and I don’t make up figures from memory. I watch and learn. I may diverge from “reality” as a way of embracing what I observe with how it makes me feel. Most often I draw or paint, but I use no signature style. So, I may describe my style as non-style.
Did you attend art school or are you autodidact?
I attended a school of advertisement drawing in Aarhus, Denmark. There I learned to draw with photographic likeness. Then I moved to Canada and graduated from Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C., in 1994. I feel that school made a professional out of an amateur. If I had not attended art school, I doubt that I had ever considered myself an artist, but I would still be drawing.
What do you do besides being an artist?
I am a father and a husband. I am a son and a brother. I am a friend and a colleage. I am a local resident and a world traveller. On a daily basis I try to be myself, which seems to be one of the greatest challenges. Sometimes I teach art, which is a great way of teaching myself art before an audience.
I also administrate the world-wide art project: “ARTMONEY.” In 1997, I issued a new, hand-made currency, to see, if it was possible to spend it in the same way as money. It was! I then pursued the utopian dream, that all people would be able to paint their own money and spend it in regular shops. I was amazed to learn, that some shops actually were willing to accept artmoney, and slowly the dream became reality. Today artists, shops and collectors from around the world are part of the project and artmoney is being made and spent in more than 50 countries. Naturally it requires some time and effort to operate such a wide spread activity, and that is one of the tasks I deal with on a daily basis.
What are your personal hopes and dreams?
I hope my kids will be healthy and live exciting and interesting lives. I dream of world peace. I hope that people in general would strive for love and compassion rather than money, power and greed so that fear could turn into trust and we could all relax in each others company. I hope that I can afford a life as a full time artist. That I can keep a stress free and curious mind and be open to learn new things and experience the wonders of the world. I hope I can contribute to better the life of others and that my time on Earth will make a positive difference for humanity.