From the category archives:


Depth of Field

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 28, 2010

Pillory project day 3

Pillory project day 3

I’m using Rembrandt soft pastels for the new Pillory project. I like the dusty feel when I smear the color unto the canvas. Not like the greasy feel of traditional oil pastels.
Soft pastels create a dry look, almost silky, making it hard to resist touching the canvas.

I can blend the colors very easily by rubbing my fingers.
When I need a glossy area of color I use acrylic paint or an Edding permanent marker.
Coupled with delicate white lines, this creates a perfect shiny effect on the blurry background of soft pastel.

The result is a shallow depth of field – like shooting portraits with a 1,2f aperture: A super sharp and crisp face on a blurry background.

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by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 13, 2010

Artwork by Hugh Macleod I was out walking with the twins yesterday and decided to swing by one of Copenhagens more upscale galleries. This place is not much different from the rest of the galleries here, but having the twins along gave me an opportunity to see things from a different perspective.

The Gatekeeper. The gallery is 4 steep steps up from street level. Very prohibitive when entering with a pram, but I managed somehow.
At the outset I am not saying that bringing 2 4-month-old toddlers to an art show is necessarily a good idea, but at least it got me thinking about the way traditional galleries approach their audience.

White floors, white walls, white ceiling. The traditional way of presenting art is to remove it from it’s context. This serves to enforce the notion that the item showed really IS art and eliminates any doubt in the eyes of the observer. This is one of the cornerstones of the “Found Objects” branch of art which claims anything can be art as long as it’s removed from it’s context. Think only of Damien Hirsts Sharks or Duchamps urinals.

Intimidating. The traditional art gallery is not for everyone. Whether this intimidating atmosphere is intended to discourage the observer from questioning the artistical quality of the items showed or simply to attract and repel certain segments of viewers is open for debate.
It’s probably a little bit of both though.

The traditional gallery is dying.
Like the cartoon? check Out Hugh Macleods work.

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My Space

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on maj 25, 2010

I moved into my new studio on April 1st. this year.

It’s located in the Meat Packing district of Copenhagen. Some of the district is now inhabited by artists, and I have my studio in a shared space called “Slagtehus 40″ (Slaughterhouse 40) which opened only last summer.
As a former slaughtery it’s a rough space – walls covered with tiles, floors with epoxy to make it easy to clean off the blood from the cattle and swine being butchered here..
The place still smells like an animal. Partly from the traces of blood, partly from the catering firm housed downstairs. I have no idea what they’re making, but it doesn’t seem mouth watering.

My space is in the corner of a larger shared room, edges marked by tape on the floor.
It’s not huge, but I have enough room to work and store some of my previous pieces.
In the corner I have my desk on which I draw, sketch, blog and communicate using my mac.
My windows face the courtyard where in the summerevenings the hip young crowds gather in front of the bars “Karriere” and ” Jolene”.
The floor and walls is where I paint my acrylic works.

I like it here. It’s my space.

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We are at war

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on maj 17, 2010

“Burnt-out Humvee at Amalienborg Palace” from Artworks by Carl Frederik Waage Beck

I am thinking about the Danish soldiers in Afghanistan these days.
Two separate events have fueled this.

Danish Colonel Lars Møller published his book “we kill – and live with it”
Danish documentary director Janus Metz’ Cannes screening of his Documentary titled “Armadillo” shot in Helmand, Afghanistan.
Both focus on the reality of war and the mental effects on 20 year-olds being sent to the front line.

Now the Danish media are all over it. The microphone is held to the usual voices that deliver the same soundbites as always.
Journalism is so lazy. The job now boils down to scanning the rolodex for people on either side of the argument and then rehearsing them ahead of the “discussion” on primetime TV.

Of course there are plenty of “experts” and politicians willing to deliver the goods. It’s all about promotion in the end.

What I don’t get, is the extreme hypocrisy of people (especially politicians) that condemn the actions of soldiers operating in a reality that they themselves have never experienced and would rather forget.

Maybe Møller and Metz will have helped to open the eyes of these same people. Maybe then we can have a true discussion about why the soldiers were sent in the first place.

As always with war, there is plenty of artistical inspiration.
I started working on this painting because I wanted to bring home the reality of war. Afghanistan like Denmark was a monarchy between 1933 and 1973.

I can’t help but wonder what the danish debate would sound like if this painting was reality.

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Working under constraint

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on marts 31, 2010

“Working under constraint” from Sketches By Carl Frederik Waage Beck

So your boss gives you an assignment –
1. “I need something, on my desk, whenever you feel like it”
2. “I need a presentation, on my desk, whenever you feel like it”
3. “I need a 5 slide presentation, on my desk, whenever you feel like it”
4 ” I need a 5 slide text-free presentation selling our product, on my desk, whenever you feel like it”
5. “I need a 5 slide text-free presentation selling our product, on my desk, in 1 hour”

Which assignment is more likely to ignite your creative spark?
Which is more likely to make you get it done anytime soon?
Which is more likely to focus your attention on the assignment?

Freedom is great, it’s the very reason why I don’t do 9-5 very well.
Too much freedom though, can kill the creative spark, make you apathetic, and make you less likely to focus your attention.

Cure? – Create rules, constraints and time limits on your work. and stick to them – well at least try to.
Afterall you’re the Boss, no?

This little watercolour above sums it up nicely.
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Life on the edge

marts 20, 2010

Given the choice between receiving 5 dollars with certainty OR receiving a free lottery ticket with a 1/1000 chance of winning 5000 dollars, which would you choose? Given the choice between paying 5 dollars in parking fee OR risking a 1/1000 chance of paying a parking fine of 5000 dollars, which would you choose? Given […]

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Into the void

marts 17, 2010

If you’re wondering why I haven’t been posting on the blog during the last few weeks, well it’s because of the two little wonders Victor and Carla who are now sleeping like angels in the bedroom Which leaves me a few minutes to post the latest painting in a series of 3 that I did […]

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Long hours

januar 29, 2010

These days, there’s really not that much interesting to watch on television… I shot this video the other day: wondering what the famed Danish arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen would have spent his time doing during his trips up north. Remember, this was before the time of the Jedi… Knud now spends his days looking at […]

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A note on color

januar 15, 2010

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Creative Non Disclosure and speedpainting a naked woman.

januar 14, 2010

I was watching an artist being interviewed on Danish television DR2 the other day. The host started asking questions about technique and how the artist creates his work. This was all good up until a certain point when the artist had to stop the host. He simply would not answer any more questions about his […]

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