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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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Mirror Mirror 2

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 18, 2010


The next piece in the Mirror Mirror series. Acrylic paint and watercolor on A3 sized Hahnemühle torchon paper.

You can buy the piece here:

Mirror Mirror 2
Mirror Mirror 2
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 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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Arrival of the first print

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on juni 2, 2010

I had been waiting for days when finally on wednesday I could get my hands on the trial print of the new series based on the TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) painting that was originally shown at the Bottom Out exhibition last year.

TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday)

I am pleased with the result, the colors are rich and deep, the paper soft like velvet.
Holding the print I am filled with a sense of joy and pride. I’m guessing many authors and artists have felt the same way when holding the first copy of their work. Somehow it get’s more real when I see it in real life. – I made this.

The print series will be limited, all signed and numbered. Stay tuned in the coming days to get the details on availability and pricing.

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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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Back to Basics

maj 24, 2010

“Enough!” from Sketches By Carl Frederik Waage Beck I have been working on the upcoming limited edition prints today, setting up my favourite paintings in the studio, first photographing and then later retouching them in Photoshop. I am comfortable taking photos and will often bring my precious Canon 7D whenever I’m out on a trip […]

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Beauty in numbers

maj 20, 2010

I have been working on some sketches lately, trying to draw the perfect female face. I keep returning to the female body for inspiration, always something or someone new to paint and draw. The motif never gets old. To me at least. Some features just appeal to me. Maybe it’s some darwinian mechanism. Maybe I’ve […]

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Escape the cubicle

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 […]

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A note on color

januar 15, 2010

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Disarming art: Using art as a force of change

juni 25, 2009

Dear friends, This is the second painting in the series “Naked People” that I have set out to create during the next few months. While sticking to a motif that is universally understood and recognized, in this series I intend to explore the role of art and how art can be applied as a force […]

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