Above is the raw art and self-portrait of Magnus Hvidtfeldt Andersen. Magnus joins me to chat about his life as a young emerging artist in Copenhagen…
Hi Magnus, thanks for joining us here at Om Pom Happy. I love your work, it’s strong, fresh and exciting. Do your portraits spring from your imagination or are they people you know?
Hi Cand, yes, my paintings mainly spring from my imagination. I am inspired by people and things, but mostly by combinations of colour that I haven’t thought about before. I’m very much into colour at the moment. I work as much with the colour as I do with the motive. My work is very spontaneous and intuitive. Once the music is on and the canvas is in front of me I get in a state of unconsciousness and that’s how my paintings come to the world. I hope it’s not just the fumes of paint and solvents that make me feel this way, but who knows?!
And you now live in the wonderful capital of Denmark, Copenhagen…
Yes I moved to Copenhagen in November 2014. I grew up in a small town called Kolding, in a good home. My parents are both primary school teachers, and I have two little sisters, they’re twins and 5 years younger than me. When I finished high school, (or gymnasium as it’s called in Denmark), I worked for half a year and then I went by myself to Australia. I lived and travelled there for 9 months. I had some money when I arrived but that quickly ran out. Australia is an expensive country, and I had a lot of fun when I arrived! So whenever I ran out of money I would find a job wherever I was and the 9 months went pretty quick.
When I came back to Denmark I was completely broke, most of my friends had moved away to study and there was really not much to do in Kolding. I quickly found a job so that I could afford to move to Copenhagen and get out of the ‘smalltown’.
Copenhagen is such an amazing city, very environmentally friendly with lots of people cycling everywhere. Does the environment interest you?
Yes, Copenhagen is a great city and I love the fact that you can get everywhere on a bicycle. The environment interests me. I surf and windsurf so I love the ocean and being outside. I encourage taking public transport or bike, and I mostly wear second-hand clothing and like buying second-hand furniture. It’s both good for the environment and it just has a lot more personality than mass-produced shit.
When you began painting you were originally drawn to a more realistic style. How did this evolve to the loose, raw style you have now?
Before I started painting I was only used to drawing, so in the beginning I didn’t really know what was possible with oil paint as a medium. Therefore, I just started painting portraits of artists and people that I knew, the same as I had been doing when I was drawing.
After a while, I showed some of my paintings to an artist here in Copenhagen and she told me my technique was great, but there were no personality in my paintings. I remember being annoyed afterwards, but she was right. There is nothing worse than giving compliments just to be polite and I am glad she told me the truth, because it just made me want to prove that I had more to show that just great technique. I started experimenting and trying to find myself and my own style in my paintings and it was at this point that I really became obsessed with painting and realised it was what I’m supposed to do.
You say your sisters loved to draw so did you grow up in an arty household?
My home since I was a child has always been full of ceramics, small sculptures and paintings. Both my parents are teachers, but my mom does ceramics as well. I used to draw when I went to primary school, mostly cartoons. I stopped drawing when I was about 13 years old. My two little sisters who are 18 now both draw and paint and are really good at it!
You are self taught and still young. Do you have ambitions to study art at university/college?
Yes I’d like to study art somewhere in Europe. Right now I’m attending Copenhagen technical school. I’m taking a course where I learn the techniques of screen-printing, off-set printing and bookbinding, and I get to print my own paintings or designs. The course is ending in December and afterwards I want to study a bit at an art school in Copenhagen, before I apply to university/college.
You have your own studio. Where is this?
My studio is 500 metres from where I study right now, so I usually go there after school. I’m renting it from a guy who lives nearby. It is in a basement so the light could be better but it’s really cheap. It’s nice to have my own place where I don’t get disturbed.
And when you’re not painting, what do you like to do?
When I’m not painting I like to go out, or go to concerts. I’m listening to music most of the time, and like to find new artists I haven’t heard before. My best concerts have been with artists that I didn’t know before I went there. Also I like the music made by a friend of mine that I went to highschool with, Animmac. He makes all sorts of stuff but mostly beats.
Magnus, thank you so much for chatting and I wish you all the very best for what I’m sure is going to be a flourishing career! We’ll end with your music choice, Animmac!
WORDS: Cand Juskus and Magnus Hvidtfeldt Andersen
IMAGES: Magnus Hvidtfeldt Andersen