Artist Interview:

CARL KRULL

Carl Krull

Carl Krull (b. 1975) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, Poland in 1999 and also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City. He has contributed to a wide range of exhibitions in both Denmark and abroad. He has exhibited in Denmark at Aros, Aarhus Art Museum, Charlottenborg Kunsthalle and V1 Gallery and internationally amongst other places Japan, France and USA. 

What’s your background?
I was born on a small island in Denmark in 1975. My father is Danish and my mother polish, both my parents are artists and they met each other and fell in love, at the Art Academy in Cracow, Poland, the same place where I later went to study myself.

When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
Becoming an artist wasn’t a conscious decision I took at a certain point in my life, but rather something that just happened. I guess my childhood had a lot to say. Most kids stop drawing, maybe because they see that grownups generally don’t really draw. That wasn’t the case in my life. I have always drawn and have kept drawing, it is part of my identity. My ambition has never been to become an artist, but rather I focus on what kind of an artist I want to be.

How would you describe your work? Can you describe your process? I’m drawing in an almost sculptural manner, and my expression is of a topographical nature. I want to break with the two-dimensional surface of the paper. Figures press themselves through a grit of lines. Rather than having contours that outline the subject, an abundance of lines seems to protrude it. My work resembles natural phenomenon such as tree rings and stalactite caves. While drawing it feels like I am scanning an uncharted seabed, where new elements seem to rise and vanish until they finally settle as a connected whole. I started drawing like a human seismograph from the passenger seat of a moving car, with my wife at the wheel. It was during a road trip across the United States in 2013. With the paper rolled around a tube, the images emerged as if printed by an inkjet printer, one horizontal line after another. While the roll of paper rotated on my lap, parallel to the spinning wheels, every bump in the road affected the flow of lines, making the drawings topographical maps of the journey itself.

What inspires you most?
Lying sleepless in my bed at night with an unsettled wandering mind, old and new ideas floating around in my head. Then suddenly something clicks, the net of thoughts superimpose and a structure in the dark shows itself, an elusive moiré pattern that wants to escape forces me out of bed in search of my sketchbook.

What are the first three words that come to mind when asked to describe yourself?
Husband, father, and artist.

What are the first three words that come to mind when asked to describe your work?
Linear seismic expressionist, 

How would you describe the word “ART”? What does it mean to you?
Art is inspiration and exploration. To stray away, to leave the well-known path, to break open new territory, and then to return bewildered, surprised. Having created a new entity, which didn’t exist beforehand. Through skill and vision to mold something only tangible and within reach, because of the artistic journey itself. Through art, you tap into something larger than your own individuality. Art is a vehicle that enables you to transcend your self.   

What was the last exhibit you went to that really stuck with you and why?
It was an exhibition by Palle Nilsen (1920- 2000). The title of the exhibition was “The City” – “People and Events” at Clausens Kunsthandel in Copenhagen. It was two years ago, just a few days after the Paris attacks in November 2015. The exhibition spoke of human fragility under the shadow of war, and one of the pictures stood out. It was a scenario with a sidewalk, buildings, shops, and part of the street, no people, just smoke pouring out of a building on street level. I have lived in Paris for a period of my life. Some of my very best friends used to work just next to a cafe which was center of one of the tragic attacks. I have never felt terror as close to me as during those days. 

Is there one art movement, in particular, that has influenced your work?
No, not any movement in particular, but rather individual artists and specific works of art.

Do you have any quotes from previous artists which are important for you? A few words of wisdom that you hold onto or remember?
“Draw and be happy” My father once wrote on a box of crayons I got for a birthday present, and “Words are but pictures, true or false designed, to draw the lines and features of the mind,” 17th-century poet Samuel Butler

Advice to your 15 year old self?
If it makes you happy then you’re doing it right already.

If you could live in any other era, which would you choose and why?
I would go to the future. Let’s say 200 years from now. I hope we are still around, and I won’t find myself stuck in the future all alone. Before I was born, we were driving around and playing golf on the moon, but in all of my lifetime mankind hasn’t ventured far beyond the horizon. Kind of disappointing.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?
Hmmm… Not taking into account if nearly a third (31%) of all 7.5 billion people on Earth are right or wrong, I still think it would be pretty interesting to have dinner with Jesus. I’m not especially religious, but still, think it would be pretty cool to have dinner with Jesus. I bet the conversation we would have would be an eyeopener. 

What do you have planned next?
Right now I’m working on a black and white drawing series done with ink on paper, which I plan to finish by them by the end of the year. Next year I plan on beginning to work on canvas again for the first time in more than 10 years. Also, this year I did my first major sculptural work. It was a project I call “Subterranean”. A 2,5 meter tall concrete head weighting 29ton. It was made by digging two holes in the ground, the left and right side of the head seen from the inside. the holes were then filled with concrete, and finally pulled out of the ground and put together. I would love to do more subterranean sculpting. 

 

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