MIST OF MADNESS
curated by Rasmus Ejaas Fischer
MIKAEL TAKÀCS (SWE)
KIRSA ANDREASEN (DEN)
RUNE CHRISTENSEN (DEN)
JAY OLE (USA)
JON TODD (CAN)
MORTEN ANDERSEN (DEN)
LARS CALMAR (DEN)
KATARINA JANECKOVA (SLO)
FREDERIK NÆBLERØD (DEN)
ALEX DIAMOND (GER)
Opening Friday, November 4th, 6–10 PM
Exhibition from November 4 –26, 2016
Opening Hours Thu, Frid, Sat 1 - 7 PM
For more information on prices and availabilty of artworks, please contact us.
Starting this fall, heliumcowboy presents a few shows put together by guest curators, challenging and enriching our galleries' program and the local art scene of Hamburg. In November the Danish galerist Rasmus Fischer - the Scandinavian star curator for Urban und New Contemporary Art - comes to Hamburg and with him 11 exceptional international talents: Mikael Takács, Kirsa Andreassen, Rune Christensen, Jay Olé, Jon Todd, Morten Andersen, Lars Calmar, Katarina Janeckova, Frederik Næblerød, Volkano and Alex Diamond.
With “Mist of Madness“ Fischer presents a selection of the currently most important artists from the stable of his gallery, the Galerie Wolfsen in Aalborg (Denmark). This is reflected in the exhibition title: “Mist of Madness refers to the mad line up. It's a strong team, but there is a mad lack of connection between the different styles and at the same time most of the artist are crazy popular right now - it’s almost at the point of madness,“ as the curator explains his choice.
Taking a closer look at the artists’ list of exhibition participation unveils that Fischer isn’t exaggerating: The Danish artist Rune Christensen for example currently shows his elaborated illustrated figurative paintings in a solo exhibition at the influential FIFTY24SF Gallery in San Francisco. Here in Europe his shows always sell out completely. Likewise, the abstract portraits by the Swedish painter Mikael Takás, which are painted with nearly digital precision, are highly sought after and will be shown at the legendary LA based Corey Helford Gallery later this year. Many of the “Mist of Madness” artists are also part of this years “Urban Dawn Vol.2” in Beirut, which is one of the biggest and most important public exhibitions of the Urban & New Contemporary art scene. Here their work is shown next to international superstars like RETNA, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, El Mac and many more.
‘Mist of Madness’ brings an exhibition of rare quality by exceptional young and international renown artists to Hamburg, who work in very different aesthetics and media, each of them with their own unique handwriting.
Mikael Takács is born, raised and still based in Sweden.
He uses pipettes to distribute acrylic paint across the canvas to create his subjects, which he then distorts by dragging the paint around using various tools, like sticks and combs. He combines the classic abstract expression of marbling with concrete figures. This results in intricate patterns that forms his subjects. Variations of this technique has been around for hundreds of years, but in spite of that, his pieces are often mistaken for digital art.
Kirsa Andreasen works with the full palette of human emotions when she builds her paintings on a mixture of classical landscapes and modern figuration. The simplicity and bald narrative of the paintings tell of an artist who wishes to deliver a clear message without ambiguity. It basically concerns the emotional conditions we have to live with; daring to give them space. It is about what happens when a human being is sucked into her own emotional space – voluntary or involuntary – where emotions take over. Emotions that can become so strong that you almost enter an animalistic state.
New Danish art-superstar Rune Christensen comes out of a hidden talent mass that finds its way to both galleries and museums through Urban Art and vandalism. The main motive of Christensen is tattooed women hidden or half hidden behind masks and in different scenarios. Being an avid traveler, he became fascinated with the patterns and colors he experienced in the traditional handcrafts, costumes and temple decorations of Asia, South Africa, North Africa and Native America.
The secret rule breaker. His style is far from everything else appearing on the art scene right now. Outsider art meets the raw power of a thunderous pop art hurricane. Not much is known about Jay Olè’s origins, but it is rumored that he could be from New York. Or elsewehre.
Jon Todd is a Toronto based mixed media artist. Todd combines many mediums in his art including painting on found objects, collaging various papers, wood block cuts and screen-printing. His artistic process involves layering various mediums coupled with distressing techniques. It is this process that gives his art a unique style and places his work in the grey area between raw beauty and refined chaos.
Todd’s unique style of paintings can vary from hyper detailed elaborate portraits to bold and intense collage pieces. All his works are adorned with intricate symbolic images and patterns that allow the viewer to decipher the story behind the painting and its characters.
There is something crisp and foreign in Morten's multidimensional pieces. Nothing stands still. The dynamics are almost endless. The futuristic shapes and figures mesh, overlap and twist around each other. The elements, vacillating between sharply defined, transparent and dissolving, breathe life into the motifs and make them ooze exuberance. His compositions are plainly innovative and he certainly belongs within the group of unschooled artists poised to have a break-through, effortlessly standing out. As a viewer one is mercilessly seduced and drawn into the futuristic, fast paced universe. Eyes skim and follow the movements and instinctively the mind tries to decipher the motif – thankfully in vain. Because Morten’s pieces are governed by intuition and impulse and do not aim to represent anything at all. The pieces overall emanate a confident, well-shaken cocktail of classic and innovative modes of expression throughout, and Morten is speeding towards international success. No less. For those wishing to categorise the style you might appropriately classify it Geometric Expressionism.
The figures are primarily modeled in stoneware clay. Afterwards various slips are applied, both stoneware and porcelain slips. Then it is time for the oxides to tint the clay, color a chair or create a tattoo. Whether the figures are glazed or left standing in raw clay obviously creates very different expressions when the sculptures are finished. They are burnt at up to 1280 degrees Celsius.
Lars Calmar works in both large and small dimensions. The great richness of detail and Calmar’s unique understanding of form means that one immediately gets under the skin of the figures – or rather: they get under your skin.
Janeckova is from Bratislava, Slovakia and based in New York. She creates vivid folktales from acrylic paint, at once deceptively simple and laden with monstrous complexity while at the same time blending the personal and the mythological with her highly symbolic works. Nude women, wild bears and cats reappear as symbols that never quite find their reference point, opting instead to swim in the murky swaths of forest-colored pigment. Janeckova creates fairytale worlds for the adult set, where wild animals melt slowly into the surrounding cacti.
During the past year Frederik has been one of the most talked-about names in Danish art. One of contemporary art’s potential stars, he is among today’s most talented group of artists. What these artists have in common is a highly personal touch. They are off beat, crazy and clever. Right now they are helping create a new artistic trend. Without a doubt, it is a trend, which was highly visible in the Danish art world, and which paved the way for Frederik Næblerød’s admission to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
Frederik Næblerød is spontaneous. For example, he painted some pictures of birds and cigarette butts, because a friend, who had visited India, told him that in Mumbai birds use cigarette butts to build their nests. His spectrum is enormous. Everything from sex to still life.
In reality, art has nothing to do with the number of working hours or strong technical skills; this can be part of it but is not a requirement. Nevertheless, the fact is that if you choose a road where your narrative is promoted by a razor-sharp universe, and where inadequate skills would pull you down, then it is imperative that your art is spot on – and this is the case with Volkano’s art.
For me the most central feature in Volkano’s art is his ability of depicting the loss of childhood innocence and the development from child to adult.Technical skill is of secondary importance although Volkano is extremely talented technically. In many ways growing up consists of events which each undermine your childhood innocence. You can hardly call yourself an adult before your childhood innocence has changed into something else. This theme is universal, timeless and geographically untied, and for me it is obvious to relate to this through art. In Volkano's world meat, bones and dead animals typically represent the coarseness and life-style of adult life. In the span between these symbols and the innocent characters the stories and their content arise. (by Rasmus Ejaas Fischer)
Jörg Heikhaus aka Alex Diamond is a storyteller, much like a visual singer-songwriter, using traditional craftsmanship to carve compelling narratives and poetic tales into wood. Over many years he has developed his very own, trademark woodwork: multi-layered, meticulously and highly detailed sculptural woodcuts, blended with Diamond‘s unique painting and pigmenting styles.
Jörg Heikhaus was born in Cologne. He has founded the heliumcowboy gallery in Hamburg in 2002.