What it seems: Artists Talk
Artists Talk with Hlaðgerður Íris Björnsdóttir and Sigtryggur Bjarni Baldvinsson, whose works are being shown at the exhibition What It Seems – Reality on Canvas 1970-2020.
Many painters seek to achieve an impression of realism in their works. In order to be successful, they adopt skills that require both training and technology, as well as paying attention to various details. When successful, the stunned and amazed viewers cannot believe their own eyes. But is everything what it seems in paintings made in a realistic style?
Hlaðgerður Íris (b. 1973) studied fine arts at Iceland University of the Arts from 1999 until 2002 and at the Accademie Di Belle Arti in Rome in 2001.
At first glance Hlaðgerður’s works look like photographs but with further inspection you can see there is more to it. The works are painted with incredible precision, which can be linked to realism, and every detail is educed in an exaggerated way so that it becomes very important. Hlaðgerður bestows her models, which are either kids or teenagers, a strong presence so that the audience is drawn to their intensity. They are often depicted in the Icelandic landscape or in the middle of a raw canvas.
Sigtryggur Bjarni Baldvinsson was born in Akureyri, Iceland in 1966. He studied at the Akureyri School of Visual Arts, the Icelandic College of Art and Crafts and the École des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg, France
His paintings, watercolours and photographic work reflect his engagement with specific natural phenomena. Water-based leitmotifs such as running water and oceanic surfaces are woven into his work, reflecting the elements of light, air and earth and nature’s unique powers such as wind and gravity. Baldvinsson has also tried to accentuate and emphasize the construction or organization of things in the world with his paintings of flower covered slopes and the foliage of trees. With growing urgency, the artist’s work now reflects his concern with questions that relate to modern man’s relationship with, and responsibilities for, untouched nature.