Magnus Gjoen is a contemporary artist, who has enjoyed worldwide recognition for his original and thought-provoking artwork that combines a street and pop aesthetic with a fine art approach. We sit down with Magnus to discuss his career, unique style and the several artworks he created for Chateau Denmark…
Tell us about your journey to becoming an artist…
I guess you can say I’m an accidental artist. Five years ago, I was working in fashion and was looking for some new art to hang on the walls of the new flat I’d just moved into in London. In the end, I decided to just create some myself. Everything snowballed from there and I ended up quitting my job two years later. I initially started doing limited edition prints, which became more elaborate over time with golf leaf and diamond dust finishes. The demand gradually increased and now I spend a lot of my time working on original prints for specific shows and clients.
What inspires your style?
A lot of the time, my work is about rediscovery and taking things from the past and renewing it for the contemporary market. I like breathing fresh air into dusty old paintings that have been forgotten about in the far corners or basement of a museum. My work is also about presenting objects in a new light to viewers, who might otherwise think that a specific object is negative. Beauty can be found anywhere – even in a small piece of engineering, like a gun.
What does art mean to you?
Art is about expanding the mind and exploring things and presenting it to the viewer as you want it. It’s about capturing a memory or moment of whoever is looking at a piece and nudging their emotions; taking them back to that place or time.
Tell us a little bit about the piece you created for the Chateau Denmark project…
I created several pieces for Chateau Denmark including a few portraits and the Sevres Grenade and Delft Uzi on porcelain. These pieces juxtapose the fragility of porcelain with something destructive. The portraits, seemingly wrapped in bubble wrap alluding to the silhouette of the painting behind with a small tear where her eye peeps out, create a contrast between the old and the new.
How and where do you work best?
I work between London and Florence but I produce most of my pieces in England and Germany. A piece will usually start with research and there is no better place for that than in the museums of Florence.
What are you currently working on?
I’m doing three porcelain figurines with Meissen in Germany, which should be released in the next few months. All three have an anti-war message and are part of a bigger Meissen slogan: ‘Making the world a better place’.
Quick fire round:
Favourite place in the world? Florence
Painting or mural? Fresco
Spring or autumn? Spring
City, countryside or seaside? City
Night or day? Day