Jesper Kristiansen

Phone: +45 2684 4902

Artist statment

To me, every piece of art that I make – a painting, a video, a drawing or an object is a riddle that needs solving. Questions of all sorts arise and I need to find answers that make sense to me, and seem valid within the given frameset that I set up for the individual piece.

I am not interested in making works in any particular style or tradition. Hence, there is not always any immediate kinship between the different works. To me, it is all about communicating what I see and experience in my everyday life. And in that process I try to be as direct and honest as possible. Beginning a new work, I have no specific idea how the work will end up or if I will solve the riddle. Often, the work ends up very different from the image that was my original starting point.

My work is quite often based on personal after-images – images that tend to stay on my retinal and in my mind long after they first appear. Like, when you look up into the sun for too long and is left with a black spot on your eye. Typically, these images arise from personal experiences, travels, relationships, problems, secrets, regrets, unsuspected events, my handicap, banalities, pains and joys and other stuff that occur in ordinary life.

There always has to be something on the line though. I have to stick my neck out to a certain degree and invest something myself – otherwise, the work becomes pointless to me. I take risks, which may show in the choice of motif and/or the style used in each painting. I am interested in errors, dirty paint water, demolition, conflict. I like painting over good parts, erasing, textures, weight, contrast. I try to find some kind of beauty, honesty and directness in all the filth and unpleasentness on the (painted) surface.

To me, making work is a physical act; I cannot think it up. There has to be a struggle, a fight. The final work must be able to tell me something that I did not already know. The final work must be smarter than me. At some point something must go wrong and break down because that is part of the human condition. 



I was born in Aalborg in 1972, but since then I spent my whole childhood in the small North Jutland town of Nibe.
After graduating from high school and spending time at a folk high school I attended Aalborg Kunstskole.

Following basic training and then half a year of studying the graphic arts at the Art School in Aalborg, I applied for admission to "Det Fynske Kunstakademi" (Funen Art Academy, DK). Here I was admitted in 1996 at the graphic arts department.

The five years at Det Fynske Kunstakademi were spent at different departments. Firstly, at the graphic arts school, headed by Professor Sys Hindsbo and later by Prof. Anja Franke. Subsequently I switched to the school of painters, headed by Prof. Erik A. Frandsen. Then to the department of conceptual art, headed by Prof. Jens Haaning - while my fifth and last year of study was spent at the school of painters, headed by Prof. Jesper Christiansen.

Since then I have worked with a wide range of artistic projects as well as held teaching positions at a folk high school and various Danish art schools. For the moment I work as a permanent teacher at Sønderjyllands Kunstskole.

I currently live in Augustenborg and work in Sønderborg, DK.