ROOM bridges contemporary life with Renaissance beauty. What is more uplifting than beautiful art?
The giants of yesterday looked up towards the heavens for inspiration. They painted God, the angels, the virgin Mary... above the common man.
Today we are no longer religious. In the last 100 years we have surpassed god. We look to ourselves, not religion.
Yet these older works of art still speak to us. Why? Because we are moved by their beauty, their grace, their skill.
There is craftsmanship in the older works, which both delight and impress us. Even if the subject matter and the gods are irrelevant,
the techniques and the beauty of the paintings live on.
I am creating a mini world where this grace and beauty still exist. Like an oasis. One room. Not large. Not grand.
But one room in a typical Danish home, that is covered from head to toe with classical inspiration.
Every wall is covered with murals of plaster busts, old master copy paintings in gilded frames, inlaid marble columns….
Outside of this room is a typical, modern Danish home, with all the typical Ikea furniture, appliances, computers...
But inside this room there is only quiet. There is no furniture in the room, except for a few chairs.
It will be a spiritually uplifting oasis, a place of contemplation and inspiration. A delight for both the mind and the soul.
Perhaps you will feel as if you have been transported to Florence or Rome.
The inspiration behind ROOM
Room was inspired by a family vacation to Rome in 2013, when my daughter Lea was awed by Raphael’s famous “School of Athens.”
The painting is held up by graceful, life-sized marble statues of women in Greek robes. Behind the marble women is a panelled wall with inlaid marble.
But when Lea walked up to the sculptures, she found they were not sculptures at all, but paintings of sculptures.
The “sculptures” cast shadows in the panelled wall, which was not panelled or marble either, but again painted to look like panels and marble.
Magic. Also known as “trompe l’oeil”, french for “trick of the eye”, a technique perfected (along with much else) by the old masters of the Renaissance.
Lea was so impressed that she asked me to paint her bedroom in the same style. “Mommy, I want you to paint my bedroom like that,
with beautiful sculpted women, colorful marble, and (of course) a unicorn.”
Most unfortunately, I knew I could not do it. I was not capable of painting with such elegance and grace.
But I am the most determined, focused and stubborn person. So over the years I learned about trompe l’oeil, about the figure,
about classical painting. And in 2017 I decided I was ready to try.
Realistically I will never be truly ready, because I am constantly learning and improving, and by default ashamed of work I have made a few years ago.
But at some point one has to pick up the brush and accept where one is at, and be willing to make grave mistakes, in order to learn.
So I did. And hundreds of hours and mistakes later, I hope that you will like the results. That they will be satisfactory.
Serious art today makes a strong social or political statement. Art moves the public to anger over the destruction of the enviornment,
or it defends the oppressed, or it shocks people into heated discussion about the meaning of life. ROOM does none of this.
It is merely “pretty” painting. Shallow. Nothing to shock or discuss. Therefore it is not art, but craft. But this is fine by me,
as I consider myself a craftsman. I care about craftsmanship, about trying to realistically represent the objects I am painting,
to think about anatomy, to correctly paint light and shadow, to use harmonious color, to use fluid and graceful line,
to consider the overall composition within the room, to take care by using the right materials and techniques that have been used over the centuries…
This all falls into the realm of craft. Room is craft, but not necessarily art.