written By Maria Vogel
Your Instagram shows you often working on the floor, in your apartment. Can you talk about your process of creating and what it is like to combine your work realm with your living realm?
For me, my work realm and my living realm is something I cannot separate. My work is my life. I have struggled with this and sometimes wish it could be different: that I could go to work in a formal setting, that I could be off of work, that I could have colleagues. At times I’ve struggled with loneliness.
The floor is often the largest surface I have to work on. I work from home because it gives me a certain intimacy. Being alone gives me a feeling of freedom. There are no expectations.
I’ve moved around a lot and always lived in tiny rooms sharing apartments with flatmates. The only place there was enough space for me to work was on the floor. Now, working on the floor comforts me. It gives me a feeling of home. Whether I am in a hotel room or in my apartment at home, the floor is my workspace.
How much time do you devote to creating a piece?
Time is not a factor I consider. It can take a few minutes, or it can take a week to create a piece. Time does not exist when making art. I might spend years thinking about a certain subject which I then have a need to express. Sometimes I create something from a place of nothing, a part of me which I haven’t yet thought of. By tapping into this I let what is inside of me show up on the paper. In this sense, I perceive time as a fluid part of simply existing.
What do you think draws viewers into your works?
I hope viewers are fascinated by the same thing that I am fascinated by – our own human kind. As humans, I believe it’s what we relate to it the most. It’s who we are. It’s the most complex thing I have ever come across and yet, at the same time, it’s just faces. Behind every single face there is a person, a story, a life, a generation. I try to minimize this complexity by using simple techniques such as one-line or one single color, but the subject of human remains the same.
Your work has intersected many worlds – art, fashion, and branding, to name a few. Can you speak on your work’s versatility and what it means to you?
Versatility is an interesting word. There are many people who work in these different worlds who have shown interest in my work. I think the interest in my work derives from people having similar taste, rather than my work being versatile. I believe these artistic worlds intertwine and I think it has more to do with each individual person’s taste. I say this because I believe that people in the creative fields are very specific on what they like with great attention to quality and aesthetics. To me, it’s not so much about these different worlds, it’s about everything and everyone, whether it’s a woman in Chicago or a man in Hong Kong. The greatest gift to me is the fact that people have taken a position on what I am doing. They notice me. Perhaps they don’t like me, or don’t understand me, but they took that position and that is what counts.
What artists influence your work – both living and not living?
I am more influenced by techniques than artists. I rarely explore other artists work. If I go to museums I notice techniques. The way I’ve come to create the motion with the brush in the blue works is based on a work by André Derain called The Two Sisters. The one-line technique is inspired by Picasso’s “Animal Drawings.” For inspiration, I don’t look at art, rather everything else.
What’s next for you? What are you excited about?
I have an exhibition in London in the beginning of June. I have planned this in my mind since 2016 so the fact that it is coming true is wild. I knew back then that the show should be titled “Outcasts,” something I identify very much with myself. I’m working with ONEROOM Gallery for the show and they have a four-floor Victorian house in Shoreditch. I’m so excited by the fact that it is going to be different – like entering a real house and not just a white cube. The show will open June 12th and run until the 17th.
I have also been chosen to make this year’s poster for Copenhagen Jazz Festival, here in Copenhagen. The festival is a very old tradition and a great recognition. Lastly, I think I will spend summer working on a book that I have decided to write. So, stay tuned!