Aarhus-based artist and poet Mads Munch create geometric, occasionally colorful cut-outs from paper and cardboard. His pieces are playful yet still; a study of contrasts and space.
We spoke with Mads about his inspiration, his thoughts on the Danish art scene and his latest work:
When did you begin working as an artist?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I’ve also attended a variety of art courses throughout my childhood. As I grew older, I started to read and write a lot. Last year I managed to get my first poetry book published here in Aarhus. So I’ve always been trying out different ways of expressing myself. I had my first exhibition in 2014 displaying 20 drawings of sleeping people’s faces. The collected work was titled “In the realm of dreams all are equal.”
Why did you choose your particular medium?
I love how I collaborate with the scissors or the scalpel to cut the paper or the card board. It’s so different from drawing. It never turns out exactly as you imagined – and I like that. I like that it is alive in a sense. I really enjoy using paper in all sorts of colors and working with how to compose them. There’s an element of restriction in working with paper as you just can’t mix a colour and use it as a painter could. I work with what I can find. I like the fact that I have to find beauty in what I have at my disposal.
Tell us about your latest collection:
My latest collection is of compositions and sculptures. It’s a study in form and colour with the goal of making something that will add to the beauty to this world. It’s non-figurative but some might find shapes and compositions that will spark their imagination.
Who or what inspires your work?
Well, Matisse of course. I no longer look to him for shapes; more for colors. Same goes for some of my heros such as Ejler Bille, Richard Mortensen, Asger Jorn and Albert Bertelsen. I find my inspiration in music. Bill Evans is one of the best of all time and I’ve made a lot of art while listening to him play the piano.
Do you feel your art is particularly Danish or Scandinavian? Why or why not?
I figure I’ve got the Scandinavian minimalism under my skin. But I’m not limited to that approach. I play with colours and shapes and ideas that comes from all over the world.
What do you think of the current Danish or Scandinavian art scene?
There’s a lot of talented people exhibiting throughout Denmark and the rest of the world. There are many options to showcase art throughout Denmark, but of course it’s hard to land one of the big galleries. It takes years of work. But for upcoming artist theres a lot of help too. There’s plenty of kind-hearted small and independent gallerists that are taking in young artists like me.
Where can people find or buy your art?
My artwork is for sale internationally at Nordic Makers in Dublin. Otherwise, I encourage people to hit me up on Instagram if they see anything that they might like. You can also see my work on my personal profile, as well as bits of my life in Aarhus.