13 March 2010

The Emperors new clothes

The Copenhagen art scene is a predictable mass, consisting of the same crowd circulating in the same venues. And at least once a month they gather to admire the Emperors latest outfit. This friday was bursting with openings, and in the name of the blog I decided to give it a go.

Maybe I am damaged from my childhood growing up in an art gallery, strapped on a ride with invitations and openings, artists and hangers on. Where it was all about having the right mailing list, and keeping the glasses full. It would appear nothing much has changed since then. In the high end galleries, serious buyers are carefully screened, and invited to buy pieces even before the opening night. The show is just, well.. a show. Which may explain why 99% of the guests has their backs turned to the art, and why the main event is this:

(As I snapped this evidence, I collected a disapproving hiss from the ever-present local artist Colonel.
I keep forgetting how refreshingly easy it is to break the rules at these places.)

Gallery openings are the saddest thing around. The fear of not fitting in makes everybody look and act the same, and nothing can grow in such an environment other than the feeling of being trapped inside a refrigerator. But what I can not find in the established art world, I get in street art: the unpretentiousness, the passion and the curiosity. My appreciation for this, the happenings and the events is steadily growing.

The open air event of the Israeli based street artist Know Hope, in the tunnel next to the lake, was  attended only by people who genuinely cared. At the ripe age of 23 Know Hope has been busy decorating the streets all over the world, and exhibiting in galleries and museums. The show is really just one piece, painted directly on the tunnel opening, the rest is lithographic works, on display in the Edition Gallery from monday.

The feeling of the whole thing was light and happy, and crazy inspiring. Even the surroundings was blooming with mad bats and paper hats. 

This instantly reminded me of one of my favourite collaborations from 1961, between illustrator
Saul Steinberg who painted faces on paper bags, and photographer Inge Morath.

And when I looked up, there was a bat, with wings heavy from the rain. A cool little handmade
reminder to catch the bands Casuals and Joshua Fit The Battle at the local venue Rust. A day late.

Long live the streets!


  1. Amen!
    Jeg bor over et galleri på Vesterbro, så jeg ser de meget hippe mennesker på jagt efter gratis øl og anerkendelse til fernisereing (=hængen ud på gaden) ca. en gang om måneden.

  2. Oh, thank you Flora Amalie and Dan! It is so good to know I am not the only one who feel this way.

    Ugh, nemlig :-)

  3. interesting. i have been to galleries openings as a child because back then everybody around was an artist, and i remember a hippie vibe... since then it's become all alternative for the artists i know. i'm going to chelsea galleries sometimes, but never to the openings. it's painful enough when they try to sell me things. i worked briefly in a gallery here too, but the "art" was really not what i like, it was painful too.


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