Varieties of Love and Pleasure in Paintings By Anders ‘SCRMN’ Meisner.
Combined with the Mediterranean setting, your work has a romantic utilitarianism… like Greek or Roman vases, or antique rugs. It feels like block prints in old books and reminds me of Matisse in his paper-crafts era. The colors have a propaganda flavor at times. Like maybe that poet is gonna get off of his designer rug and start a revolution. Do you consider any of these things to be themes?
I think I consider all of them, yes. I love to look at ancient art – both Greek and Roman. So when I’m not painting, I am probably busy looking at things like that. Not directly, for inspiration, but just because I love image making.
What do you cite as your inspirations?
It’s tough question. It changes all the time. At the moment, I am looking a lot at the post-impressionists. For the works that are displayed here, I was really more interested in telling a story. I look a loose narrative that can get under peoples skin and have several meanings depending on who the viewer is. I love literature – especially historical fiction. My inspiration changes all the time. I sometimes feel that it’s hard to really enjoy books, movies and art cause I always think of it in relation to painting. I always look for something I can pick up and take to the studio. I think a lot of painters feel this way.
How did you arrive at your distinct style and how did you know, “Okay, this is it.” We ask because it can be hard for artists to find their style, but it’s so crucial to success.
I hope this is not “it.”
Style as something that has to change all the time. It can be a slow change, but it has to change and develop. I usually force myself to avoid things that feel to safe to paint. So I ban certain things for periods of time. To force on new things. I think style is something that happens while you work, over time. Artists have to be careful thinking that they have to “pick” a style. They have to develop it through painting and then it will appear automatically along with the work.
You’re a good fit for a valentines issue. Your work is infused with intimacy, but it’s not always about sex or romance. In one painting, sisters occupy a bathroom together. In others, an artist works on a self portrait, and that aforementioned poet is really feeling himself.
Do you know or create “stories” to go with these moments you’ve depicted?
Yeah I often have a situation in mind. Sometimes from my own life, and sometimes it’s from books or movies. For me, the important thing is tension. There has to be some sort of tension in the scene. For example, with the sisters together in the bathroom. It’s like a theatre play waiting to start and the viewer can take that scene anywhere. I think that painting came from watching Almodovar movies and relationships amongst sisters.
The intimacy is transient. In the Banana Hotel, these lovers may only have this one night, or maybe it’s their last night.
How did this painting come to you?
It’s a personal painting, of me and my wife. It’s a scene from a cheap hostel in Colombia, but I like the painting to be seperate from my own life.
It could be a night in the life of many people.
What is your process like from inspiration to done?
I take notes and often write down what the paintings should be about. Descriptions. Thats enough for me to get the image in my head and then I do my best to get it transferred to the canvas. It sounds more simple than it is. I paint a lot in my head, erase and change things around, and then I start working when I’m happy. Then reality bites, and there are all the painterly problems one has to overcome in the studio.
Do you have any advice for pursuing a career in the arts? What does “success” look like you?
There are so many ways to do it. I never took a course or went to art school but studied lots in books and looking at paintings and images. Art school wasn’t for me, but I love making things. Maybe one piece of advice is to not overthink the career part of it. It’s not a sprint but a marathon really. The most important thing is to get to the studio every day. That, in the end, will pay off. And don’t be shy to show the work. Just keep on working, regardless of how the work is received. I have been painting for 20 years and I still feel like a beginner. I still enjoy painting, well, I am basically obsessed with it, and I think there is a great reward in the act of painting and working as an artist. If you don’t enjoy the actual process of making the work, then the art world can be a hard place.
The process and the work, that is what will get you through the ups and downs. There are no real rewards and even when success comes along you still face a blank canvas the next day. That’s the great thing about art – you are never done.
About Anders SCRMN Meisner
An artist from Copenhagen, represented by Hans Alf Gallery
“I’m soft, like Andalusien Cotton” is at @tinimini__room.