Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen’s work drives impressions from many different sources. It is both rich in references to cinema, art and theatre underlying the performative nature of life. His subjects seem to be either taken from earlier artistic traditions or inspired by European literary fairy tales as they bring to our mind something we have forgotten. It feels as if Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen will tell us a story, however, he doesn’t bother to give us neither the beginningnor the end. Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen only presents us with an episode open to our interpretation or rather to our imagination, inviting us to build our own story around his figuration.
Disobeying Body Parts
Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen often assembles a single figure from more parts or components. The character’s different body parts often live their own lives disobeying the rules of common sense. For the artist, it presents a way to break from the cannons of figurative representation in an attempt for an ‘escape’ to abstraction. To abandon the control over his characters is a way for Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen, to keep surprising himself and thus rendering his work surprising also for his audience.
A World of Fantasy
In Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen’s series of etchings, some of the characters remind of what, in the past, would be considered a high-status sitter. However, Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen doesn’t pursue the objective of communicating dynastic continuity or power. He depicts those pretentious, dressed up cavaliers in a way that renders them foolish and embarrassing. Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen recuperates them to create a world where one could both dream and laugh again while he glorifies the ridiculous, preferring the world of fantasy to the realms of the 21st century. In fact, his subjects acquire meaning in a universe where they appear irrelevant and outdated. Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen’s artistically eloquent play with the imagination is an invitation to see not only the tragic but also the comic in life.
Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen, born 1977, Copenhagen, Denmark. Lives and works in Kalundborg, Denmark. He received a BFA from Goldsmiths, University of London (UK) and an MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (DK). Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen’s recent exhibitions include I Warp and I Wait, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen (DK), Tea with Water from the Hot Tap, Jacob Bjørn, Århus (DK), While the Others got Composed, the Foot and the Dial went for a Stroll, Viborg Kunsthal, Viborg (DK). His work is included in the collections of Ny Carlsbergfondet (DK), The Danish Arts Foundation (DK), Vejen Kunstmuseum (DK). He is the recipient of The Rockwool Prize and the Nordic Art Talents Award.
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Even though Artjom Chepovetskyy's artistic universe seems purely abstract he shares Kaspar Oppen Samuelsen's playful approach, the different elements in Chepovetskyy's compositions are often like Samuelsen's characters live their own life.
KASPAR OPPEN SAMUELSEN
Ride On, 2016
Line etching & spit bite aquatint
Printed on Hahnemühle Bütten 350 g.
54 x 64 cm
Edition of 12
Signed & numbered by the artist
Printed & published by Printer’s Proof
Price: € 510 (25 % Danish VAT included)