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Bjørn Eriksen
  • Male
  • Copenhagen
  • Denmark
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Bjørn Eriksen

Profile Information

Relationship status
College / University
Danish School of Design
Program / Degree
Graphic and Drawing
Member type
If you're an artist, what kind of art do you make?
Drawing, Painting
I am...
Very sensitive and caring...
Don't like to wash up, own a machine to do that :)
About my artwork
'For Bjørn Eriksen it is the human figure. Although his earlier work was apparently influenced by the Scandinavian neo-primitivists of the Cobra group and the German neo-expressionists, his present paintings seem more akin to early Alex Katz, when there were still faint traces of New York School 'process' in Katz's figurative style. But being a postmodernist, Eriksen's hints of the hand may be more beholden to the so-called 'Bad Painting' movement of the 1970s, in which deliberately crude paint handling was combined with narrative intimations for ironic effect.
The double irony, though, is that even when he aims for bad, Eriksen is a very good, which comes across particularly well in his portraits, such as 'Laila,' depicting a woman with a red rose in her hair whose somewhat frumpy Mona Lisa demeanor he manages to endow with a winsomeness akin to Elizabeth Peyton's wispy rock and roll androgeynes. Capable of aping the clumsiness of folk art by making a tan shadow on Laila's face as harshly palpable as a caramel wafer, he can turn right around and sever the dark curve of her shoulder from the dark background with a sinuous sliver of light that could have been cut with a razor.
Such contrasts between awkwardness and grace animate all of Eriksen's paintings in compelling ways, giving the topless girl with her name tattooed on her pelvis in 'Rita Meter Maid' an archaic formal simplicity akin to Modigliani, as she raises an arm above her head to display a clean-shaven armpit; heightening the nerdiness of the four grinning guys in identical checkered sportcoats posed frontally like a publicity shot for a barbershop quartet, in 'Please Return'; emphasizing the burlesque-comic inanity of the bozo in an ill-fitting suit bending over in a kick-me posture with a blond bimbo who looks like she's posing for a pin-up calendar balanced coolly on his back, in 'Anything Goes.'
Bjørn Eriksen based the latter two paintings on old photographs that he found while visiting New York (perhaps they were discarded by some low-rent theatrical agent like the one played by Woody Allen in 'Broadway Danny Rose,' while divesting his dusty files of former clients). But by virtue of his mastery of the deadpan manner, he manages to make the people in the pictures look perfectly bored, as though striking such outlandish poses is all in a day's work.'

Ed McCormack
New York City
Artists I like
Picasso, Hockney, Matisse, Braque, Gris, Freud, Bacon, Mykines, Ingalvur av Reyni, Jonna Pedersen, Lars Svanholm, Rama King Nash, Jorn, Lis Zwick, Joergen Nash, Munch, Bonnard, Manet, Rembrandt and many others...
Art, chess, music, fishing, computers...
Centre of the artworld:
New York, London, LA, Berlin, Beijing, my studio, online, nowhere and everywhere, another city

The new book!

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Comment Wall (80 comments)

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At 14:34 on October 17, 2012, Luke Gilliam said…

Hi Bjorn, I've really been enjoying your book. Sorry for the long pause - I have spent the last 3 weeks or so setting up various online networks and now trying to manage all of them. It's a shame because some really great artists I used to talk to up here seem to have left. I have a small collection of new work I will be putting up here in about 1 week or so and will let you know. My best, Luke

At 18:04 on July 20, 2012, Luke Gilliam said…

Thank you for sharing my photo! Yes so interesting to see someone go past all my work and point out one of my earliest pieces. I am fondest of the early work because it is raw and simple. I must get a copy of your book. I will send you my address again. Best, Luke

At 8:18 on June 26, 2012, Luke Gilliam said…

Hi there Bjorn, I read your review on Dulwich On View... great!!! You've got some very positive reviews moving around London so congrats. I have to say the new paintings are quite unique which is a very tough bridge to cross. By the way, how many copies of your book did you print? Is there anywhere in the UK I can go and buy one? Stay in touch...best L

At 18:04 on April 27, 2012, Luke Gilliam said…

Hello there Bjorn - please tell me how your show went in London! Best, L

At 16:39 on January 4, 2012, Luke Gilliam said…

Happy New Year Bjorn !! Let's get back in touch.

At 9:55 on May 28, 2011, Clementine McGaw said…

absolutely beautiful book, thank you so much, very grateful indeed.


At 21:31 on April 1, 2011, Marko Gavrilovic said…

Thanks Bjorn,

Great watercolor pieces you have!

Have great weekend!



At 16:11 on February 21, 2011, Hillel Kagan said…
Dear Bjorn, I'm flattered that you like my work enough to post an image on your Facebook page and I thank you for taking the trouble to show it to me. Maybe I should emigrate to Denmark where there is at least one art critic who thinks I may be a good painter.
At 10:36 on February 21, 2011, Kyra Munk Matustik said…
Cool paintings
At 23:53 on February 13, 2011, Luke Gilliam said…

Thank you for your ideas Bjorn - I think I like Mannerism better than Rennaisance - I like the idea of imagination adding personal elements that are not in the original image - maybe surrealism is an offspring from Mannerism - in that case I like Mannerism the best - please stay in touch, Luke =)



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