From the category archives:


Life on the farm

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on marts 26, 2011

Springtime on Bornholm

We have finally set up camp. Not only that, I have committed to start in a new position as the social marketing guy at destinationen. It’s the perfect crime – doing what I love and getting paid for it. What’s more, the product I’m selling is the island I love – Bornholm.

Bornholm has had a tough time ever since the primary industry, fishery, shut down during the 80s. Several other major work places are now gone, tilemaking closed,  agriculture has become machine run. The population peaked at fifty some thousand after WW2, but is now around 43000 and diving.

Tourism accounts for just shy of 9% of the local economy and unemployment fluctuates wildly between winter and summer when most of the temp jobs are available.

Tourism, and its derived effects, is now one of the main job creators. Boosting tourism and attracting visitors is therefore one of the best ways of making the local economy grow organically. I’m proud to be a part of this mission, and I draw huge motivation from it.

What else could be done to boost Bornholm?
Take a look at the swedish island of Gottland. The Swedes have a better understanding of what it takes to sustain the outer rims of their country. Massive subsidies of transportation, mainly ferries, placement of higher education institutions have made it more attractive for businesses to settle and for high school graduates to stay put.

Sure help from parliament would be instrumental, but as they say, change starts from within. I’m going to work on April 4th.

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Bombing Fields

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on september 30, 2010

“Don’t take away My Saturdays”, 60×80 cm, acrylic and permanent marker on canvas, 2010, 6000 kr.

The Internet is doing to galleries what a bomb would do to the Fields Mall.
Sure, some brick and mortar stores still have relevance – much in the same way real world art shows still make sense. But galleries are doomed to lose their role as gatekeeper for the artist as well as the collector. Artists will find ways to host their own shows as oneoffs with established galleries or in empty storefronts. Paying the rent creates a need for cash upfront, but control and sales income remain with the artist.

As an artist, it more and more looks like a losing deal to surrender 50% of sales in return for hapless marketing and real estate on a physical gallery wall. Smart artists around the globe are now using their tech skills to connect directly with collectors as well as establish a permanent online record of their artistic activities. Instead of leaving a printed resume in a pile of similar ones at the gallery, Blogging is a powerful tool for documenting and communicating the artistic journey.

The balance of power is shifting back towards the artist and the collector. In this relationship the brand of the artist becomes everything as he performs to the dispersed audience of thousands of individuals.

But about the painting above – this is the next one in the lineup from the series “War is Coming Home” featuring scenes of war in our home country. What happens in the aftermath of terror? People stay home… Denmark is increasingly finding itself in the top of the list when terrorists want to make a statement. Maybe it’s time to rethink our foreign policy…

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Top 10 things you didn’t know about Taliban

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on september 27, 2010

I don’t get out much these days, as I usually stay at home to take care of the kids.
Having finished a few paintings in the “War is Coming Home” series, something got me thinking about the lives of the Talibans or talibs if you will.

What are they like, and what’s the deal, you know – really… Some light research ensued and, tadaah!

So here goes – The top 10 list of things you probably didn’t know about Taliban:

10: The Taliban consists mainly of Mujahideen and as it were, former allies of the West.
9: Many Talibs actually do smoke, regardless of what Mullah Omar says,
8: The majority of the Taliban movement is made up of Pashtun tribemembers practicing the moral code “Pashtun Wali” which has hospitality as one of it’s cornerstones.
7: The Taliban established an Ombudsman in 2009.
6: While not in combat, the Taliban enjoy a good game of rock-throwing.
5: The Taliban numbered roughly 45.000 in 2001, 11.000 in 2008 and 36.000 in 2010.
4: Ahmad Shah Massoud (Leader of the opposing United Front/Northern Alliance) stated in 2001 that without help from Pakistan, the Taliban would not be able to sustain their military campaign for a year – Since 2001 Pakistan has received 11,5 bln. USD in military aid from the United States.
3: On october 4 2001, Pakistan refused an offer from the Taliban to have Osama Bin Laden handed over for trial on the grounds that Pakistan could not guarantee his safety.
2: Few Talibs have ever read the Koran, but rather learn it by heart verbally.
1: Since 2004 the Taliban has been known as the “Islamic Insurgency”.

I find myself just a tad better informed now, hope you do too.

The painting below “Forever after Silent” is the third in the series “War is Coming Home”. If you’re from anywhere around Copenhagen you might recognize the backdrop.


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9-11 revisited

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on august 9, 2010

I took the opportunity the dig out some old footage from NYC the other day.
It’s a documentary series shot on 9-11 and the following days.

The photos were shot on my trusty old Canon APS camera and I haven’t done much but applying some levels and curves in photoshop to try and counter the inherent noise in the original processed negatives.

Not much of a good time to look at, but I had to share these images that still haunt my mind.

Burning towers

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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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Winter settling on Forum

januar 7, 2010

I decided today that I was going to get started on my HDR journey, and I have now spent a great deal of time on Trey Ratcliffs excellent blog “Stuck in Customs” Trey makes some amazing HDR photography and I really encourage you to check it out. Temples, Fireworks, Sunrises – it all looks great! […]

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Inspiration right outside the window

december 11, 2009

These days, one need not look far for artistic inspiration. Here’s a short clip from my windowsill. The world is getting smaller, flatter, more crowded etc… Enjoy, Carl If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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“Denied” – the story of the Iraqi Asylum seekers in Brorsons church

november 19, 2009

Dear friends, A few months ago I wrote a post called morality vs. democracy about the Iraqis asylum seekers that took refuge in Brorsons church on Nørrebro. By order of the Minister for Refugees, Immigrants and Integration and for Ecclesiastical Affairs, Birthe Rønn Hornbech, the church was emptied by the Danish police at 2 am […]

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Freedom of speech: How to fight with paint

juni 22, 2009

“The 12th imam?” From Artworks by Carl Frederik Waage Beck Dear friends, these days something is happening in Iran which hopefully will improve the ability of thousands to speak their mind and express themselves however they see fit. I am not trying to promote a certain political view here, but when artists, writers and people […]

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Election results: And the winner is…

juni 8, 2009

The results are in, and the winner of Saviour 2009 is…….. (drumroll) Barack Obama!!! Below is a detailed view of the votes: When I initially started thinking about the idea of making an election as part of the exhibition in Brorsons church, I had no idea that reality would catch up and highlight the importance […]

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