Documentury – Artist Carsten Beck – May Issue
Carsten Beck is a self-taught artist and has a background as a graphic designer. Among other things, he is represented at the galleries Benoni in Copenhagen and Galerie Wolfsen in Aalborg and is also represented in Milan, Mexico and New York. Recently, Carsten Beck also launched a commercial collaboration with the carpet manufacturer Nordic Knots.
With clear geometric color fields and giant works in black and white inspired by the 20th century- hundred art direction Concrete art is the North Jutland artist Carsten Beck strutted into galleries in both Milan and Mexico. He himself is based in a classic mansion in the heart of Aalborg, where he uses the city’s architecture as a direct starting point for artists.
You are self-taught – what made you make the decision to live as an artist? “I have always been fascinated by the minimalist expression in illustration art and have worked with graphics and illustration myself before. Along the way, I also learned to photograph myself, and at one point I reached a point where it was no longer enough. I lacked one more dimension and therefore started experimenting with oil on canvas, where the original was my own photographs of the architecture’s lines, light and shadow. ” Was there a particular turning point that helped determine the choice of your new career path? “When the online platform Abstract Mag at one point uploaded one of my pictures, it suddenly went strong. In just four hours, the first work was sold. I was then contacted by several galleries, all of whom were interested in selling my art. It was very overwhelming for me. ” How do you navigate it? “As a relatively new artist, you are a little green in terms of the entire gallery scene, in Denmark as well as internationally. But I have been lucky to have good people around me to help sort and filter. At the same time, I experience that the corona pandemic has done something good for the artistic sense of community. It can be very lonely to work as an artist, but the time we live in has made more people better at helping and guiding each other. ” Is there an artist or artistic direction you are particularly inspired by? “In Denmark, there are not many artists who deal so directly with the artistic direction Concrete Art, which I myself am very inspired by. An artistic form that is both easy to read and easy to decorate with, as it is based on a simple form language and clean lines. It is therefor.
probably hard to run from the fact that my expression is based on great Danish artists such as Ib Geertsen and Ole Schwalbe. It fascinates me how their art now, so many decades later, is still experienced just as concerningly as when it was created. It is the feeling I strive to achieve with my own art that I hope is still relevant in 10, 20, 30 years and more. ” What advice would you give to a young, aspiring artist? “It was not as easy as it might sound to go all in on art almost from one day to the next. One must have nerves of steel and believe in oneself. I am well aware that, as a relatively young artist, I have already come a long way. But it is no coincidence that I am here, because I have made an incredible effort and spend hours not only working with art, but just as much around it. We live in a world where we are bombarded with images, and therefore I go to great lengths to present what I do in a simple but exclusive visual language that is understandable. The simple advice, regardless of industry, is that it pays to make the effort. Feel free to share your experiences with others along the way. The better a network you have, the stronger you are. ” Is there a particular story you are trying to tell with your art? “Not really. It is more a composition of figures on different scales, which gives an overall expression that speaks for itself. But it’s fun for me to see who buys what. Typically, art collectors go for the large works in strong colors, while the architects go for the black and white. ” What is your relationship to colors? “To start with, I worked primarily in black and white. But after I started on colors, I got completely bitten by it. It just adds something else.
to the works and also to the decor. Maybe because I otherwise live with muted colors and wood. At the same time, it is much harder for me to work with colors, and it has occurred to me that I am more challenged. It is simply harder to imagine the end result from sketch to the great work. The brush strokes are also something else in color – they become much clearer when you go close. ” How do you experience the reactions to your art? “Despite the fact that my works from a long distance can seem very stylized and perfect, most people experience that when you get really close and see the brushstrokes, it is a very sensual experience, because the lines and transitions are not at all are perfect. This is where the personality of the works shines through. ” How does your home set the framework for your creativity? “When I first entered the apartment and saw the three living rooms en suite, I knew right away that this was where my base of art should be. Here I could create the studio I dreamed of, and at the same time use the framework as a virtual ‘exhibition space’. My home works as a canvas for art, where I constantly try the works in my own framework. But it also means that the expression on the walls is constantly changing and is in motion as the works are tested and sent off. Others might go crazy. For me, it’s all the energy. ” In what words would you describe the mood? “I fell head over heels for the stately soul of the apartment. Modern constructions become a little impersonal to me. But funny is that my art is tight, and I love the contrast of the stately up to my works, which come more into its own in surroundings with filling doors, stucco and old handles that have a natural history with them. ” What inspires you in your immediate surroundings? “I use Aalborg’s architecture directly in my works, and the city is thus part of my art. They all have a photographic template from a picture I have taken on my many walks around Aalborg and the surrounding area. The city is also the base for my life, and I do not intend to move, although many artists move to Copenhagen when they begin to succeed. The good art is not only found in Copenhagen. Aalborg has grown and has many prominent cultural sites such as Utzon Center, Kunsten and Musikkens Hus. ” How did your collaboration with the carpet brand Nordic Knots come about? “Nordic Knots caught sight of me in connection with my collaboration with the online gallery The Poster Club, which for a number of years has had several of my works as part of their work series with art prints. I thought it was fun to try something new and see my sketches translated into textiles and carpet production. It is a completely different format, and it is certainly not the last time I throw myself into it, if the opportunity is there. ” What’s next? “Perhaps I will build on photography as an even greater integral part of my work. Maybe one day you will even experience a human being in my art. Time will tell. Right now is the perfect time for me to try new things. ” /
BY MAJA REGILD INTERIORS PHOTO CHRISTOFFER REGILD
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