A visit to Simon Ganshorn’s gallery feels like you’re entering a colourful, ethereal world. Located in a vacant building on Amager, he built his space from scratch. Walls and all. Instead of the usual designer ornaments you’ll find populating most Danish apartments, in Simon’s loft there are stacks upon stacks of canvases, endless found objects and obscure wall scrawlings.
Inevitably, I find myself parroting off the same questions: “What’s this?”, “What’s that?”, as I pick up the flotsam and jetsam of his lived-in cabinet of curiosities. His space shows how deeply he lives and breathes his art.
A mix of powerful graphic lines, bright colours and otherworldly objects, you can easily find something new in Simon large-scale canvases each time you look at them. His work is filled with energy, giving an overall impression of existential turmoil: an iconoclast walking through a dystopian city. With this backstory, one would expect his work to be terrifying to be around. I can say, however, that having lived amongst seven of his paintings (we were “helping with the storage”), I was distressed to say goodbye to them when they sold.
Simon has previously been included in the prestigious ke12 and kp13 exhibitions in Denmark. He’s also in talks with Christoffer Egelund gallery, one of Denmark’s most exciting spaces. When he’s not painting, Simon creates music, drawings, video, poetry, sculpture and whatever else he feels like.
Here, we talked about everything from unconscious ego-projection to the meaning behind all those carrots on his canvases:
TELL US ABOUT THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR LATEST ARTWORK
I recently made a work about being an extremely impulsive, brainwashed zombie buying unnecessary stuff. Overall, I’m anxious like the rest of the monopoly tribe.
I don’t know anything about my being – like everyone else – and that provokes lots of anxiety in the present moment. I want to find “the meaning” but I can’t; it’s absurd.
I make art that describes my feelings towards my ego. I know I have a big, fragile ego. I am tired of the social contract and how it manifests everywhere. My works are about the most common thing in this dimension: the big attachment to the big fragile ego.
My art is a reflection of a typical unconscious ego-projection (anxiety, frustration, suffering). More than this, I incorporate symbols that explain the course of action in reaction to this. So now you have to imagine how other egos manifest through ego-projection. So many symptoms arise but only symptom treatment is available. This is my mission: to convey information on how to deal with the ego through acceptance and cultivation of compassion.
What was your path towards becoming an artist?
The aesthetic of a tricky composition makes me so exited and has always been very stimulating for me. My mum told me that when I played as a child, my focus was on composition; I made compositions with my toys. When I became an adult I worked as a cook. There I had lots of fun with compositions of a different sort until the age of 25 when I started painting out of the blue and there it was! My passion for composition was reborn.
I love to express my emotions on canvas, to show every aspect of my being and confront my fellow conscious light beings (Ed note: you!) with their individual ego-attachment and make them think deeper about the emptiness and oneness that we are navigating through. Art is the very best way for me to do so.
Any lessons learnt in the process? If you had it all to do all over again, what would you do differently?
I have learned that everything is possible besides understanding consciousness. I would not do anything differently. There is no “if”, there is only now!
What advice would you give to a person that wanted to become an artist?
Just do it! Think big! Nothing can go wrong, everything is an illusion so embrace the simulation. You don’t need a lot of money to make art, you need an inner urge to express yourself.
Can you give some examples of the ups and downs you’ve faced?
When pursuing a passion, there are inevitably ups and downs! Whether it is something that happens to you, or even my own mood, there are so many ups and downs that give fuel to my process.
Do you have any motifs or images to which you like to return to? I really like your carrots that seem to pop up…
The carrot, that symbolizes the human ego hunt of sensory pleasure. Also, the U.F.O symbolizes the unconscious/the unknown.
What’s next for Simon Ganshorn?
I want to share my work internationally to spread my message further. I think many issues can be solved if people delve into understanding their own ego-attachment, projection, and then move forward to acceptance and cultivation of compassion.
See more of Simon Ganshorn’s work here.
Interested in purchasing some art? Simon is happy to give you a tour of his studio.