Interview: Søren Solkær

Interview: Søren Solkær

by 15/07/2015

I søndags tog jeg et smut forbi Øksnehallen for at se udstillingen, Surface, af Søren Solkær. Her kan du opleve smukke, sjove, vilde og kreative fotografier af nogle af verdens bedste street artists – eller gadekunstnere. De er fotograferet med deres værker – men fotografierne er iscenesatte. Ja, du skal nok selv opleve det. Vi har snakket med Søren Solkær om Surface – læs med her:

Søren Solkær

Søren Solkær

Louise: Hvordan startede Surface projektet for dig – hvor kom interessen fra?
Søren: Interessen kom helt tilbage i 80’erne, i mine teenageår, hvor jeg blev bidt af hiphop-kultur og især breakdance. Interessen blev genvakt i 0’erne, hvor V1 Gallery begyndte at vise kunstnere som Faile, Banksy og Shepard Fairey. Samtidig blev jeg mere og mere opmærksom på den kunst, der udfoldede sig i byrummet i de storbyer, jeg har besøgt meget: New York, LA, London, Miami, Melbourne, Berlin og Paris.

Louise: Er det ikke farligt at fotografere gadekunstnerne – det er vel ulovligt, det de laver? Har der været episoder, hvor det hele har spidset til?
Søren: Jeg har ikke fotograferet kunstnerne, mens de har malet. Mine portrætter er mere iscenesatte, og det færdige værk indgår. Der har været nogle vilde klatreture og nogle meget skumle steder – men ikke noget meget dramatisk.

Louise: Er der noget, som du har måtte opgive at fotografere?
Søren: Der er mange, som jeg har måtte jagte i lang tid for at få mulighed og lov til at fotografere dem. Der er stadig en del, jeg arbejder på at få fat på – så jagten fortsætter – jeg er meget vedholdende!

Portrait of the street artist Mobstr. He was about to finish up his piece at the Nuart Festival in September 2012. The portrait is part of the series called D.O.T.S. - Depending On The Street, which is photographer Søren Solkær Starbird's portraiture of an extensive range of the leading lights in street art. It is a book and exhibitions project.

Portrait of the street artist Mobstr. He was about to finish up his piece at the Nuart Festival in September 2012.

Louise: Hvad har været mest spændende ved dette projekt?
Søren: Helt sikkert at møde de mange kunstnere. Det er en verdensomspændende familie af ildsjæle. Det kræver noget særligt at udtrykke sig i byrummet og mange af kunstnerne har, udover et stort talent, en vild energi, idealisme og et stort gåpåmod. Samtidigt kræver det også en stor generøsitet at bruge en stor del af sin tid på at skabe værker til glæde for alle, imod lille eller ingen betaling.

Louise: Har du et yndlingsværk i projektet? Og en yndlingskunstner?
Søren: Jeg tror, mit yndlingsværk må være mit portræt af den spanske kunstner, Borondo. Min yndlingskunstner i projektet er Conor Harrington. Begge var blandt de kunstnere, der malede vægge på Vesterbro op til min fernisering i Øksnehallen.

Louise: Det er ret spektakulært, synes jeg, at du har fået gadekunstnere til at udsmykke flere gavle rundt omkring på Vesterbro – har det været svært at få tilladelse? 
Søren: Jeg føler mig umådeligt priviligeret i forhold til at kunne kuratere udsmykningen af seks vægge i København. Det bliver jo det største fingeraftryk, jeg får lov til at sætte på mit kvarter nogensinde. Københavns Kommune støttede projektet med et større beløb – men det var samtidig de forskellige kontorer på kommunen, der gjorde det til en langsommelig og lidt træg affære at få alle tilladelser i orden.

Louise: Og hvordan udvalgte du de kunstnere, som skulle udsmykke de københavnske gavle?
Søren: Kunstnerne er udvalgt efter, hvem jeg synes er fantastiske, dygtige og rørende. Det har været min unikke mulighed for at skrive et kærestebrev til København.

Portrait of the street artist Niels 'Shoe' Meulman. He was still working at his piece for the Nuart Festival in September 2012. The portrait is part of the series called D.O.T.S. - Depending On The Street, which is photographer Søren Solkær Starbird's portraiture of an extensive range of the leading lights in street art. It's a book and exhibition project.

Portrait of the street artist Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman. He was still working at his piece for the Nuart Festival in September 2012.

Louise: Er der noget, du synes, man skal have i baghovedet, når man besøger Surface-udstillingen?
Søren: Jeg tror, det vigtigste er, at man har god tid – sæt minimum to timer af – gerne mere, hvis man også vil se nogle af de spændende film i udstillingens biograf.

Louise: Hvad er dit næste projekt?
Søren: Jeg fortsætter faktisk med at fotografere street artists – og så er der et bogprojekt på vej med nogle semiabstrakte billeder af flyvinger. Jeg er også i gang med en backstage bog i samarbejde med Roskilde Festival. Og så har jeg en lille Amy Winehouse-udstilling i Grand Teatret sidst på måneden.

Portrait of the street artist ELLE She was photographed on a highway ramp, with a piece she had done above the Brooklyn – Queens Expressway in the background.

Portrait of the street artist ELLE She was photographed on a highway ramp, with a piece she had done above the Brooklyn – Queens Expressway in the background.

Du kan opleve Surface til og med den 29. juli – og de næste to onsdage kl. 16 kan du endda få en guidet tour rundt i udstillingen, hvor Søren Solkær selv fortæller om de forskellige gadekunstnere og tilblivelsen af Surface. Jeg brugte et par timer på udstillingen og kunne sagtens have brugt mere tid, som Søren selv foreslår, i biografen, hvor der vises dokumentarer om street artists.

Det skal nævnes, at Surface rent faktisk også er en fotobog, en ret flot én af slagsen, som du naturligvis kan erhverve dig i Øksnehallen. Og derudover kan du selvfølgelig også købe værkerne, samt nogle mindre nummererede fotografier og ikke mindst postkort og muleposer. Tjek Søren Solkærs website her for mere info. Og læs med på søndag, hvor han er vores københavnersnude.

Portrait of the street artist Shepard Fairey. He is in front of one of six pieces that he painted during a summer week in Copenhagen. The portrait is part of the series called D.O.T.S. - Depending On The Street, which is photographer Søren Solkær Starbird's portraiture of an extensive range of the leading lights in street art. It's a book and exhibition project.

Portrait of the street artist Shepard Fairey. He is in front of one of six pieces that he painted during a summer week in Copenhagen.

/Louise

IN ENGLISH:

On Sunday, I stopped by Øksnehallen on Vesterbro to see the exhibition, Surface, by Søren Solkær. Here you can experience beautiful, funny, wild and creative photographs of some of the world’s best street artists. They are photographed with their works – but the photographs are staged. Yes, you’ll probably have to experience it. We had a talk with Søren Solkær about the Surface-exhibition:

Louise: How did the Surface project begin?
Soren: My interest in street art began back in the 80s, in my teens, where I was hooked on hip-hop culture and especially breakdancing. My interest was revived in the beginning of the millinium when V1 Gallery began to show artists like Faile, Banksy and Shepard Fairey. At the same time, I became more and more aware of the art that flourished in the urban spaces in the big cities, that I’ve visited a lot: New York, LA, London, Miami, Melbourne, Berlin and Paris.

Louise: Isn’t it dangerous to photograph street artists?
Soren: I have not photographed the artists while they painted. My portraits are more staged, and the finished work are included in the photographs. There have been some wild climbs and some very shady places – but nothing very dramatic.

Louise: Is there anything that you had to give up photographing?
Soren: There are many artists, that I have had to hunt for a long time to get the chance to photograph them. There is still a lot of  great artists, that I’m working on to get hold of – so the hunt continues – I am very persistent!

Louise: What has been the most exciting thing about this project?
Soren: Definitely to meet the many artists. It is a worldwide family of enthusiasts. It takes something special to express one self in the urban space and many of the artists have, besides a great talent, a wild energy, idealism and a special drive. At the same time it also requires a great generosity to spend much of your time creating pieces for the enjoyment of everyone, against a small or even no pay.

Louise: Do you have a favorite piece in the project? And a favorite artist?
Søren: I think my favorite work must be my portrait of the Spanish artist, Borondo. My favorite artist in the project is Conor Harrington. Both were among the artists who painted the walls on Vesterbro before the opening of the exhibition in Øksnehallen.

Louise: It’s pretty spectacular, I think, that you’ve got street artists to do several murals around Vesterbro – has it been difficult to get permission?
Soren: I feel immensely privileged, that we’ve been able to decorate six walls in Copenhagen. It is of course the largest fingerprints, I get to put on my neighborhood ever. The Copenhagen Municipality supported the project economically – but it was also the various offices of the municipality, which made it a slow and a little sluggish affair to get all the permits in order.

Louise: And how did you select the artists who were to decorate the Copenhagen walls?
Soren: The artists was chosen according to whom I think is amazing, talented and touching. It has been my unique chance to write a love letter to Copenhagen.

Louise: Is there anything that you want the audience at the exhibition to keep in mind when visiting Surface?
Søren: I think the most important thing is that you have plenty of time – a minimum of two hours – even more time, if you also want to see some of the exciting filsm in the exhibition cinema.

Louise: What is your next project?
Soren: I actually continue photographing street artists – and I also have a book project on the way with some semi abstract pictures of airplane wings. I’m also working on a backstage book in collaboration with Roskilde Festival. And then I have a little Amy Winehouse exhibition at the Grand Theatre at the end of the month.

———

You can visit the Surface exhibition until July 29 – and the next two Wednesdays at 4 pm you can even get a guided tour around the exhibition where Soren Solkær talks about the various street artists and the process of developing Surface. I spent a few hours at the exhibition and I could easily have spent more time, as Soren himself suggests, watching films in the cinema, showing documentaries about street artists.

It should be mentioned that the Surface is actually also a photo book, a rather nice one, which of course you can buy in Øksnehallen. And in addition, you can also buy the works, as well as some smaller numbered photographs and also postcards and tote bags. Check Soren Solkær’s website for more info. And check in here on LoveCopenhagen on Sunday, where we have an interview with him about Copenhagen.

/Louise

Related Kunst og udstillinger Articles

Similar Posts From Kunst og udstillinger Category

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.