Last summer when I was visiting Cornwall again, I went to an exhibition at the Salthouse Gallery in St. Ives where I met the two Cornish artists Zoe James and Andrew Jago. I found their works very interesting and asked them to talk me through them, and so they did. Zoe James is working with people in different ways in her works, while Andrew Jago is working with landscapes in many ways. (mer…)
Irene Våtvik, was born in 1951 in Sandnessjøen, but today she lives in Asker in Norway. As a child she was often ill which led to many hospitalization where she spent a lot of time alone. She therefore created her own fantasy world, a creativity that she has brought along in life. Her own experiences made her curious of other people and their inner world. She developed a strong empathy for suffering people, and as an adult, she educated herself as a nurse and then specialized herself to become a psychiatric nurse. Through her work she became interested in creative treatment in the psychiatry and therefore she began part-time studies at Asker School of Art from 1994 to 1998. (mer…)
This year’s main exhibition at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium is called: IF YOU DON’T LIKE ART, GOODBYE, FUCK OFF, GO HOME….. The title is a rewriting of the Danish group SUPERFLEX’s work from 2008: «If you don’t like Danmark /good bye / fuck off /Go home…». No need to go home though, it’s a lot of interesting art works to meet, some of them will maybe bring you back in time, while others will put a smile on your face. You will also meet art that communicate in a more serious way, as said many times before; art is a form of communication.
First of all, here are some facts about this multifarious art. The curator for this exhibition is Göran Christenson. For 25 years (from 1987-2012) he was the director of Malmö Konstmuseum (Malmö Art Museum) and he is still a very important man when it comes to contemporary art. From 2013 – 2015 he has, on behalf of private individuals, created a collection of Nordic contemporary art. He himself could decide what to collect, and the criteria he chose were that the artist in one way or another had an attachment to The Nordic. In addition he were looking for artists in the beginning of their career, not having received so much attention. This is in some ways comparable to what Charles Saatchi did in the 90s when he helped many artists that haven’t become famous yet to be just that. The artists we are talking about became known under the name of Young British Artists (YBAs), but today many of them are among the most famous artists in the world. Among them we find name like Damien Hirst, Tracey Enim, and Marc Quinn, just to mention a few. Saatchi bought art from them which he exhibited in the very famous exhibition Sensation in The Royal Academy, back in 1997. The difference between Saatchi and Christenson is that when Saatchi bought art with his own money, Göran Christenson bought art on behalf of other people’s money. This tells how much they trusted him. The collection is named NORDIC CONTEMPORARY ART COLLECTION abbreviated to NoCo. In spite of Christenson’s searching for unknown artists, we also find well known artists in the collection, like Olafur Eliasson, Elmgreen & Dragset, Fredrik Værslev, Bjarne Melgaard , Sofia Hultén, just to mention a few. This, together with the collection being only a few years old, is what makes it so interesting. As the first place to show this collection, Göran Christenson has chosen Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, an hour with train from Oslo in Norway. He sees this place as the most important place for contemporary art in the Nordic, according to an interview in the Norwegian newspaper Drammens Tidende 12.04.17 . (mer…)
2017-01-20 Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the US, in spite of what many people thought was possible. In that context the Norwegian artist Morten Viskum offered Nasjonalmuseet (The Norwegian National Museum) to buy his well known self-portrait Make America Great Again for $ 1!!! But Audun Eckhoff, the director of Nasjonalmuseet didn’t respond to the offer. If you are offering something, common courtesy is either to refuse or to accept. Of course Eckhoff can hide behind the fact that he didn’t know about the offer, but the offer abounded in social media throughout 2017-01-20, and such a unique offer the director of the Nasjonalmuseet should know about. (mer…)
Morten Viskum made his mark across the country when he in 1995 placed olive glasses with dead rats on formalin in several Norwegian supermarkets. When he some years later made a crucifix and replaced Christ with a dead rat , he received death threats. It was at this time I became acquainted with Morten Viskum, the artist who back then always was wearing a face mask in public places so that one could not recognize him if you met him on the street. Our meeting resulted in the graduate thesis Rotten på korset (The Rat on the Cross) and ever since I have followed his art closely. From our first meeting I have never doubt that Morten Viskum would be one of our foremost artists from our time, and that Love From God will enter the history of art as an icon from our time. I myself have used the art of Morten Viskum both in lessons and lectures, and I always bring «little rat» (a dead rat on formalin) with me, and even if someone have responded in a negative way, it soon has passed away when the background of the art expression has been known. Then the curiosity and the good conversation have taken place. (mer…)
Morten Viskum and his self-portraits have got a new member; this year’s edition is the disputed US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Again Viskum hits the nail on the head in this year’s selection in terms of self-portraits. Tuesday the 19th of July, Trump was formally chosen as the Republican presidential candidate, something many people never thought possible. This means that this year’s self-portrait is even more relevant than when Viskum made his choice, not even he could well anticipate such an outcome. (mer…)
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PLEASE RETURN TO BUSAN PORT
In the main exhibition of the year at Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium (VKL); PLEASE RETURN TO BUSAN PORT, we are going to meet 21 artists from South Korea. Therefore it may be interesting to ask if we can find a common identity which is expressed in their works, and how do we approach this art? (mer…)