Today I bring you guys a special treat! I recently came across the artist Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen and I immediately fell in love. His dream-like paintings were unlike anything I had seen before. I was interested in finding out about the inspiration behind Henrik's art, so I asked him whether he would be up for an email interview. And he said yes! His answers are honest and thought-provoking. Definitely a rising star in the art world!
What prompted you to become an artist? Tell us about your personal journey.
I have always done and enjoyed art. Mostly drawings. It is probably the only thing I've been remotely good at. But at the same time, I didn't really manage to pull off exactly what I wanted. It wasn't before I reached the age of around 21, under my education for being a teacher, that I discovered oil painting, and with that decided that it was indeed an artist that I wanted to be. With oil painting I could do what I previously had failed to do.
Which artists inspire you the most? Are there any young artists such as yourself which are among your favourites?
I find inspiration in a lot of different artists, both living and dead. From concept art to classic fine art and photography. Many of these artists are young, in their 20-30-40's.
Your paintings are one-of-a-kind - in my opinion, they represent a return to realism while also retaining a very individual, 'contemporary' quality. And then there is also the indescribable dream-like quality of the art - it is as if we have all seen these paintings in a previous life. Can you tell us a little bit behind this concept?
Thank you for that. I'm always striving for better craftsmanship in my art, as I think that modernist art have neglected it for many years. It seems that the appreciation of a well executed piece of art, with solid craftsmanship is on an offensive. A renaissance. I agree that a good idea is important in art. But if the idea is the only thing with the piece, it should be an amazing idea. Which I think many of the conceptual artists today don't have. Of course with some exceptions.
I have certain works with very concrete motives, and some that I simply don't know how to describe with words. I have always been fascinated by art that is both beautiful and dark. Art that is subtle and dual. That has perhaps rubbed of on the way my paintings look.
I feel like your art is very 'Scandinavian' - the subtle hues, the soft emotions... Is your art influenced in any way by your nationality? Do you think the fact that you're Norwegian permeates your artworks?
I do believe that growing up in Norway has a lot to do with how my paintings look today. On the other hand, much of my inspiration has come over the internet. I also think that it's hard to define a specific style as typical Scandinavian. We have all sorts of art. But I'm sure the long winters have an effect on the mind. We do have black metal as one of our biggest exports.
How do you think your style will develop in the future? Would you also like to beging working on completely different projects?
I have no idea. I live from painting to painting. It's so many things I want to do. Luckily I have a lot of years left to do just that.
What was the most exciting point in your career so far?
I would have to say that making the cover on Hi Fructose vol. 24 was pretty damn cool! I have loved that magazine a long time.
Which of your own artworks is your favourite?
I personally like the pieces where I have challenged myself with complex buildings and backgrounds the best. But the pieces I enjoy the most in the process is without doubt the portraits. I love painting portraits.
And finally, a question I have to ask... What advice do you have for aspiring artists?