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carl frederik waage beck

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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Accessible and shallow?

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 22, 2010

A friend of mine called and we agreed to go for a walk.
We met up a Forum metro station just after lunch and decided to take a stroll around the Copenhagen harbour. On such a sunny day Copenhagen is a beautiful city. We soon got around to discussing city planning – why some parts of the city become popular and why some just don’t.

“Ørestaden” is a newly built part of Copenhagen that used to be a desolate field on the island of Amager. That was before they built the Bridge of Øresund connecting Denmark and Sweden. At the time the idea behind Ørestaden was to create a huge area of urban dwellings for the growing population of the combined Copenhagen/Malmö region.
And so they built. Each new housing project more ambitious than the next. Each architect had his own idea of a magnificent building. Every square meter of allowed retailspace was jammed together in “Fields” – The largest shopping mall in Scandinavia. No cafes, no restaurants, no cosy little places to hang out. No-one thought about the urban area as a whole and what it takes to create what James Kunstler calls a place worth caring about.

Sadly Ørestaden now looks to become yet another ghetto. It’s simply not a place that anyone want’s to visit because it doesn’t speak to us. It’s bleak and inaccessible. From an architectural standpoint many of the buildings in Ørestaden are succesful. VM bjerget – “Mountain Dwellings” is an example of this, having won 4 international awards. Blame it on the recession, but apartments in VM -bjerget are now being offered for rent at reduced prices.

Art has many of the same characteristics as architecture, Not coincidentally the Danish School of Architecture is housed in the Royal Academy of Arts. So what makes some art more popular than other? Technical prowess, Depth, Originality, Visual aesthetics? Art may possess all these qualities yet still not hit home with the audience.

Whether we like it or not, the brand of the artist as well as the accessibility of his work is a deciding factor.
I feel comfortable owning a piece by an artist whose story and background I know, whose reputation is well known in general, whose art appeals to me and is easily accessible.
Does accessible mean that the art is shallow and has no depth? Ask David Hockney

The value of art has historically been closely linked to the story of the artist.
The new paradigm of art is really not new at all – The artist is responsible for maintaining and increasing the value of his art. Though storytelling, through promotion and any other means possible.

I am committed to this task, blogging is just one tool.
Enjoy todays Mirror Mirror (top).
Buy it here:

Mirror Mirror 3
Mirror Mirror 3
Signed original artwork: Acrylic paint and watercolor. A3 sized archival 285 gsm Hahnemühle Torchon paper.

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by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 11, 2010

Photographer Bent Rej opened his exhibition of Rolling Stones photos at Martin Asbæk Gallery yesterday. Bent shot his photos of the Stones back in 1965-66 when they weren’t yet renowned as one of the worlds greatest rockbands.

A few years ago I received 6 limited edition prints from this series as a gift. They now adorn the walls of my apartment and I can’t walk to the kitchen without getting a cheeky grin from Mick.
I think the great quality of Bents photos lies the intimacy they possess. They feel private, much different from the usual ad smiles I see on every billboard. They feel like the family portraits that also hang in the hallway of my aparment.

Intimacy is hard to come by as a photographer. But when the photographer turns subject and snaps a photo in the mirror, things start to get intimate. There’s something else present – that which escapes the photographer. A moment of solitude and privacy. When published, this kind of photo reveals what the subject wishes, not the photographer. This is true exhibitionism.

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Escape the cubicle

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on april 29, 2010

“No more cubicles” from Artworks by Carl Frederik Waage Beck

When it comes to worklife, I figure there are 2 kinds of people:

Type 1. Those that work the punch-in/punch-out job, and prefer it this way.
Type 2. Those that work the punch-in/punch-out job, and want to leave and be their own boss but feel they can’t.

Who feels more pain? Probably type 2. Pain comes from wanting what you cannot have.

There could be a trillion reasons why you might feel quitting just isn’t an option. Some common reasons are:

a. The mortgage due next week.
b. No time for moonlighting on my escape.
c. Fear of the unknown.

These are absolutely valid reasons, don’t get me wrong.

a. The mortgage is due, and if you’re like most people are, it has been due ever since you landed your first job. And as your paycheck increased over time, so did your mortgage. Net result – higher turnover in your household economy, but about the same level of free funds.
The constraint is the same as it has always been.
If you’re looking to change this, what you need is some more wiggle room in order to gain momentum for your escape. That means reducing your mortgage.

b. No time for moonlighting? Well, that’s why it’s called moonlighting – put in the hours if you’re serious about escape. Reducing time constraints is another option, but this may not be possible for you in your current job. Maybe the solution would be to switch to an interrim punch-in/punch-out job that is less demanding on your time. Going from 80 hours/week to 40 hours/week makes a big difference in your time schedule, but most likely won’t cut your paycheck in half.

c. But what’s on the other side? That’s for you to decide, but you probably have an idea, otherwise you wouldn’t feel this longing. Help yourself visualize the other side by describing what you’re aiming for. Most important – What is that you want to give to the world? What is it that you can do, that will make someone elses life better/easier etc?
What will your time schedule look like? What will your work environment be like? – a desk in a shared office space or working on the fly at the local café?
The more detailed, the less frightening.

Plan your escape and you will find the resolve to execute it.

best regards, Carl

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Into the void

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on 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 find time (somehow miraculously) to make a the other day.

I have been working with some new ideas on perspective and these paintings are an effort to keep it neat and clean. No fuzzy throwing around with paint this time folks!

The inspiration for these paintings comes from my childhood memories of Lego ads. These ads were always showing a scene with a myriad of little legomen inhabiting a toyworld of plastic trees and houses. Everything was always clean and immaculate. Nothing left to chance.

So in a leap from what I have been doing previously, namely letting order emerge from disorder, portraits emerge from little random splotches of paint, I felt like tightening things up a bit.

The painting “Into the void”, is my take on what it means to reject 9-5 and embark on that creative journey that so many of us long for. It’s a crasy thing to do, no signposts, no safetynet, but what about the alternative?

The perception of risk changes according to your situation. In my case, what it took to get real about the art, was a kick in the ass and 6 months of pay. What do you need to take the leap?


Into the Void from Artworks by Carl Frederik Waage Beck

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Waiting for friday, retirement, life etc.

oktober 6, 2009

I think one of the fallacies of 9-5 is that we are “saving up” for the real life. I used to cringe whenever I heard someone say “I can’t wait till friday” in my old job. Even worse when I was occaionally lured into the choir of: “When I turn 40 I’ll sell my company […]

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