Monday, June 23, 2008

Interview with MORTEN ANDERSEN

I recently was introduced to a great artist coming out of Denmark, His name is Morten Anderson, and he has mastered the art of layering and abstract design.

1. Where do you live and work?

I'm from Denmark, from up north in the country living in Aalborg City.
Denmark's no. 4 largest city - not that it is large in any way at all.
I work and spend a lotta time in my studio in my apartment which is in
the center of town.
There's really a great energy, noise and feel from the city's environment
going on, so I'm very happy in my workspace..
(113 x 130 2008)
2. What mediums and techniques do you use?

I prefer to paint on canvas with acrylics, sprays, different types of
markers, coal and pens.
Technique wise I use my brushes amongst other tools more for applying the
paint than actually painting certain areas with them.
I build my layers either very thick or stretch them real thin, and next
cut them off around the edges with a cloth fix to have them appear more
graphic than an ordinary painted area by brush would look like.
I try to get in to and understand the volume and the texture of the
colors/ the product itself, - see how they appear when applied in
different extraordinary ways like smeared on, applied with much water,
cloths and what have you, to do something hopefully unseen.

I try to keep an open mind and use what seems the most right when
putting an area of difficult together.
I build a painting off of how and what the composition, as it builds,
tells me to, so because everything is so spontaneous I need a wide scale
of tools and techniques.

The flow, the hand style and appearance of graphics is the most
important, not as important is the fact that it's a painting
as a medium.
Sometimes I can do a painting with almost only markers,
so that's what I try to explain about the term painting as a "painting" is
not the most important.
(makes sense??)

(Evolve strict 124 x 124-2008) (Transformer Steez 106 x 106 2007)

3. When is your most productive hour to work?
I like to get up early, brew my coffee strong and enjoy the
calmness of things.. ease with things for some hours.
That's before on turn on my 1210's and get the vibes bouncing,
I get a good energy from listening to music in my studio.
But of course getting up early is a bit of a problem at times in
weekends right, I like to be out late nights holding beers, heating my
credit card and socializing ;)
But in general, early painting hours and then also in the evening.
Sometimes I paint for 10 minutes and leave, get back to painting for
some minutes, back and forth, do something else.. I can't pull like 5
hours straight in the studio, I'm too unfocused and my mind is too
inconstant for that type of labor.

4. What sizes do you normally work with? You like to paint small or big?
I like to challenge my personal limits when it comes to sizes. I do
whatever I feel like doing size wise. Sometimes I paint big pieces,
sometimes triple horizontal pieces, sometimes really small oblong pieces
and then jump to a 150 x 150 cm square one
for example. Always try to do the opposite of what I just done for a
period to keep evolving my styles to fit all different size canvasses...
At the moment I'm working on some thin plastic to try to peruse an all
transparent look besides some really big canvasses.
Different sizes and different media at times to keep developing.

(Morten in his studio)

5. How did you get started on this path?

Well I have been writing graffiti since 94'
and did that for 10 years and at a time
I just got more into the fine arts,
especially with all this new urban stuff coming
into the art scene off of graffiti.I actually got
kinda bored with graffiti, well let me correct, not the
graffiti it self, but the actual part of packing all
the that stuff up,going here and there to spots, painting
for so many hours to finish the wall the same day and then coming
home late and so..

But still I really love graffiti. It's still a huge influence on me!
I use my graffiti reference all I can in my works, the handstyle
using markers on canvas, the spray for dimension and depth,
the hard
contrasts spray gives you and the composition aspect of
it as well with
all the linework and graphical shapes and more
are interesting.

I've done canvasses the last 4-5 years and the fact that working with
colors for fun let's me meet all these new people, hook up with them and
travel to a lot of cities and do shows and party is really my thing and
I'm very happy about the path it's all going down.
It's very exciting to see and be a part of this movement of contemporary
urban art and follow where it leads to.
Just awesome.

6. In the work that I have seen, you use a lot of colors,
overlaying and
abstract shapes, where does the inspiration
come from to create such
beautifully chaotic paintings?
Well.. you point out quite good yourself in the question what makes up a
painting of mine. The transparent over layering technique is something
I work really hard to peruse and keep developing, cuz it gives such a
deep feel of dimension and space I think.
Plus I can do many different graphic-like looking layers on top of each
other and have all of them sort of appearing at once.
I think i choose (this is not a choice I reckon) to paint like that
because it portrays me as a person and the way I am very good. Like I
mentioned above, I always have a lot of things going on and I'm very
busy, so I think that shows in my paintings well.
I want to show as many things I possibly can in one painting, so there's
a coherence between my inconstant mind and wanting to show everything at
once. Chaos to some.. but I like to think I have it under control.. Haha ;)

My present paintings are actually not that colorful as they might seem,
I normally choose, let's say 2 different shades of green, lots of black
and white, maybe a contrast color to the green and then I use a lot of
marker work to spark it all up and combine the elements.
But you're right, they look like they carry a lot of color, but I tend
to think it's because of all the layering, details and transparency that
they appear like you have noticed.

(Flare Kinetics 124 x 124) (Crips Flakes 118.4 x 123 -2007)

Inspiration for these style paintings..

Hmm, I guess it's more about how I as an individual percept and observe
my society and its surroundings that makes my art come out like it does.
Everybody can view the same objects as me, but only I can transform this
inspiration to my style of paintings,
- that's my character and experiences coming threw transforming to right.
Certain things catch my attention for sure and I would say they are
definitely more of an inspiration than other things cuz I turn to them
again and again.
But a definite form of inspiration... Hard to say.. still everything right!

7. Favorite food? ;)

My mom's a bad ass chef!
Anything from her hands yo ;)

(Sabre 35x 105.5-2008)


Nicolaj H W Tuure said...

This is some kind of bad ass art.. Morten is one of the most talented artist on canvas I have ever met.

I were so lucky to buy one of his fantastic canvas before it got crazy.. :O)

Nicolaj Tuure ( Aalborg )

best essay au said...

I came across some of his work some days ago and it was absolutely breath taking. It was wonderful to read the interview of such a complex and brilliant artist.