Hi Anders, great to meet you. You were in Aberdeen for a few days recently, i take this opportunity to ask you a few questions. Where are you from?
I grew up in Arendal, a city on the coast of Southeastern Norway. Nowadays, my studio is in Berlin, where I have been living since 2011.
Can you tell us anything about how you came to choose your artistic name?
When I first started experimenting with stencils around 2002 I used the name ‘Strøk’, which depending on context means either “neighbourhood” or “brushstroke”. Today, I go by my real name, Anders Gjennestad.
What are you main sources of inspiration?
Anything around me can spark inspiration. That could be just a random coincidence, but it’s usually some sign of life and decay. There are also places where I go specifically to look for materials that are old and worn. I like when things have been destroyed and then they’ve been hastily fixed and cobbled back together; things like that make them more layered and interesting to me. It’s important to me that I absorb my surroundings so of course, I always also bring a camera with me so that I can capture the small details. Those little things also influence my work, whether it’s a physical expression, a shadow cast onto a house or just a crack in the wall.
Which is your favourite mural that you’ve created? « we absolutely loved your new one in Aberdeen »
I’d have to say that my favourite mural or project is always the next one. It’s hard to pick a favourite from my previous work because I’m always already thinking about the next opportunity. To keep it interesting I try to interact with the (urban) environment and find something that resonates with me. In cities, I look for surfaces that have marks or traces, some pre-existing character and texture. Those are the places where I see an opportunity to then add another layer of meaning
You’ve got an exhibition in the Mathgoth Gallery in Paris coming up. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
My recent works are a more focused observation of movements of a human figure. I wanted to study the nuances in those movements. The difference between seeing the figure as falling or flying all depends on a matter of perspective. And the movements also interact with the materials I’ve chosen to use. I like to see this connection as a marriage of sorts between the predictable effect of using a stencil and the rather unpredictable nature of the material itself, the original textures and colors that still can be seen. These two elements are in conversation with each other, so to speak, to tell a shared story.
Do you have any future plans that you would be prepared to share with the readers of Streetart360?
Next up, I plan on heading to Norway to finish a project in my hometown. It’s a steel relief sculpture in an old iron mine and the piece will be visible from a skywalk. I can’t really give anything else away about it at this point but you can always check my social media accounts and website for updates.
Thank you and see you later!
More about STRØK aka Anders Gjennestad:
Anders Gjennestad exhibition in Paris “Parallax”:
10th May – 8th June 2019
Wednesday to Saturday
14.00 to 19.00
Mathgoth Gallery – 34, rue Hélène Brion – Paris – France
Mathgoth Gallery website
Anders Gjennestad photo gallery:
All photos by courtesy of Anders Gjennestad