Persona July, 5th 2019 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 221 - Christian Thomsen

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 221 – Christian Thomsen
In Christian Thomsen’s studio I see a blue sculpture of a Viking boat with a mast that looks like a pickaxe and two shields on the side. A Viking warrior stands proudly on the bow with his spear up. The back of the ship also has a climbing pole with a circle at the top for crew members to keep an eye on the enemy.
We hear sea noises from two speakers. On the right speaker box is a white sculpture of a headless man, but he is not completely dead, because he can still hold his own head in his left hand. Behind it hangs a large drawing in black, red and yellow lines. Also a sea scene. Seagulls hover in the high sky and below it you can distinguish a person and also birds and bird tails. At a distance I see that the blue ship fits in the drawing. It roams on sloshing waves.

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The sea
There are two other paintings next to this painting. In the middle we see a fisherman with a red pointed cap with a blue fish on his hook and behind it a large white bird. And on the right a painting with a black background with a stern looking seagull and a starfish standing upright. At the top of the frame of the painting is a whole row of toy dolls with warriors with lances, swords and spears.
Christian Thomsen (Fjørsk), born in England from Danish descent, raised in Germany and as artist active in the Netherlands, explains: “The fisherman with the red pointed hat is my father, he was a fisherman. The big white bird is the mother, not just my mother, but everyone’s mother, and I am the blue fish. You can interpret the painting personally, but it stands for something bigger, it is a representation of Nordic / Scandinavian mythology. We once lived near a fjord. “


Christian Thomsen has been working for a few months in a large artists’ building in the Binckhorst industrial area in The Hague, ‘De Besturing’. He has a large space with lots of light. Outside I see ships lying in entry ports. Before that he lived and worked in an artists’ building in Scheveningen.
He is happy that he has left the city, he says. “I now live in Voorschoten and work here. The bus drops me off nicely here. It’s great that I now have a separate living and working space. I also like the raw atmosphere of this industrial area. “


The move has done him well, says the tall Danish / European. He is looking forward to making work. He went back to his Scandinavian roots and immersed himself in pagan Nordic mythology and the history of the Vikings. Mattia Papp is also there, a former fellow student of the Royal Academy in The Hague, originally from Italy. Papp also has his studio in De Besturing, diagonally opposite Thomsen’s studio.
We take a look. Papp has been busy, considering all the tubes, brushes and paint stripes that can be seen everywhere. “We are reunited again. Sometimes we work together, sometimes at night. Then we play loud Viking and Irish music. Some months ago we had an exhibition and open studio in the hall of De Besturing. “

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The Nordic mythology
“My mother also painted. Her paintings hung on our walls at home, including women with the head of a seagull. The seagull is the symbol of my childhood, which I spent in Germany, Bavaria. I also started drawing then, small figures on a board game. I bring back the feeling that I had then. It is a comfortable, familiar feeling. ”

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Thomsen also studied the literature: the Edda and the works of Snorri Sturluson. “Nordic mythology differs from the Christian religion. You can call it pagan. Scandinavian nature dominated people’s lives. This is how the ‘Viking religion’ came into existence. The Vikings sailed with their boats to the unknown. They came to England, the Netherlands, France, Sicily, Canada and America. I learn a lot from those myths. Those myths are also interesting and important for others. ”

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Key work
Does he have a key work, a work that caused a change? He has. It’s about the seagull, how else could it be? The work is called ‘In the Garden’. It is the first work he made in De Besturing. In addition to the seagull you see a black castle in the background. “I have an obsession with black castles. It comes back in various works, always in the background. It is a tempting mystery. It will take a few years before it is completely clear to me what it means. It just appears on a canvas when I’m working. When I paint, I usually start with a vague idea that, while painting, becomes a little clearer, but often not completely. “

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In addition to Nordic mythology, Christian owes much to COBRA, the avant-garde movement of Dutch, Belgian and Danish artists that was active in the 40s and 50s. “Special Asger Jorn, also of Danish origin. And I am also indebted to Jonathan Meese, a German artist from some time later. They paint what comes out of their head. The attitude relates to punk. Not to listen to trends. To only find your own way forward. That also appeals to me, in combination with music. I work with other artists and musicians and occasionally we do performances that reinforce the do-it-yourself movement. Very refreshing and inspiring! ”
Among other places, he does that at Galerie De Vlieg in Haarlem, a gallery with which he collaborates and which shows young emerging artists. Christian is also working with HarArt gallery at the moment. A new decentralized gallery. Together they recently completed a successful show during Art Rotterdam.

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In the month of July Christian goes for three months to an Art Residency in Berlin, GlogauAIR Art Residency, which invites artists of different origins. “I’m looking forward to it. I grew up in Germany and I feel the need to be actively present in Germany. I want to show my work there and build a network. “
Finally, what is his philosophy? Christian: “Trust the path, take responsibility for what you do. Fight for it too. But ‘play’ a lot too. Understand the role of art and think about how you can play with it. If you enjoy making your work, you will also get good results. I have faith in my work and I will continue. “

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1)Painting Thomsen, 2) Christian Thomsen, 3) Steve And The Fool, Morpheus, 180x80cm, 120x50cm, 2018, Installation, Woodcut, lacquer, acrylic, cardboard, photo print, textile print, 4) Feral Child, 160x120cm, 2018, Oil, boat lacquer, acrylic resin, ink, linen, 5) Christian Thomsen, Keile, 6) Lizard, 70x40cm, 7) Ghostrider, 8) painting Thomsen, 9 – 10) installation Thomsen

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