My passion for the arts has grown tremendously during the last ten years. Today, I collect, view and read avidly about contemporary art. Art comes in many forms. Regarding literary art, Henry Miller is one of my many favourites. He once said: “Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.“
Through this, Miller manages to interlink the arts with flow. It serves as an explanation of how the arts can provide you with a lifelong source of experiences and inspiration. For me, the arts are a source of inspiration, personally and professionally. The arts teach you to use your eyes and ears in different ways, to think more divergently as well as conceptually and to create new and alternative associations.
The artist, ‘with’ whom I have spent most time is Leonard Cohen. This godfather of gloom, the bard of the boudoir, has, through his songs, poems and prose, been an endless source of inspiration to me.
Leonard Cohen has lead an interesting and poetic life, and I feel you can learn a lot from him. I recognise many of his dilemmas; the wish to live the worldly life with women, poetry and art while simultaneously wanting to live a more grounded and calmer existence. There is a contrast between seeking a spiritual development while concurrently bursting with lust and ordinary desire.
In his book ‘Book of Longing’, he, through his poetry, vividly describes living in a Buddhist temple for seven years. He depicts getting out of bed at 5 in the morning at Mount Baldy and fighting to hide his erection with his monk’s robe. This is a good illustration of the contrast between lust and spirituality.
Furthermore, the whole beat generation is really up there, from Kerouac and Burroughs to Ginsberg. Their poems are fantastic, not only for their time but also today. Ginsberg was really the first hippie, the first free speech activist, and he was also very active in terms of promoting Buddhism to the West.
Also, I have a thing for Dada poetry - especially the works of Tristan Tzara. He once wrote: “The horse eats coloured snakes be quiet!”. Anybody capable of devising a sentence like that, I can only have the profoundest respect for.
When collecting art, some of my favourites are: John Copeland, Wes Lang and Eddie Martinez from the quasi-new figuristic and expressionistic scene, spearheaded in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side in NYC.
Additionally, contemporary artists like Richard Colman, Ashley Macomber, Grace Metzler, Danny Fox Cali Thornhill Dewitt and Monica Kim Garza. Another Danish favourite is Troels Carlsen, who also works within figurism, but also with mixed media and assemblage-like works.
When visiting museums and galleries during my holidays, I am very into the likes of George Condo, Basquiat, Francis Bacon, Cecily Brown, Adrian Ghenie, Philip Guston, Eric Fischl, Lucian Freud, Frida Kahlo, Picasso, Matisse, James Ensor, Hieronymus Bosch, Marina Abramovic whom I had the pleasure of seeing live with ‘The artist is present’ at MOMA in 2010 and again most things Dada…….in no particular order.