Kristian Kragelund, a 29-year-old and London-based Danish artist, works in a variety of mediums with a primary focus on painting and sculpture in the expanded field.
Since he graduated BA Fine Arts from Central Saint Martins in 2014, he has shown his work across the UK and Europe including a solo show at the Copenhagen-based gallery Tom Christoffersen and one forthcoming at Display Gallery in London, UK.
Today, Kragelund’s “meditative” wall-based works found their way to the Philippines and will be showcased in an exhibit called Reactive Painting until April 30 at the Finale Art File in Pasong Tamo in Makati City.
To give light to his unique method of art, Kragelund shared, “I consider myself a painter and my work as painting, however, I do not use actual paint in my practice. Everything within the picture plane is created through reactions of different materials and chemicals, allowing me to work from a paradigm that could be referred to as staged expressionism.”
Offering more insights on the labor of his work, Kragelund detailed, “I coat the canvas in a homemade mixture of acrylic binder and a variety of metal powders, then I introduce an acid to the surface and thus allow oxidation, deterioration or alteration of the ‘painted’ surface. This process allows me to, on one hand have complete control of the initial stages of the work and yet at the same time having to let go and watch how the chemical reactions occur and creates their own compositional arrangements.”
Though sounding more technical than artistic, the artist said his approach has a deeper analogy.
“Through this approach, I try to understand and, if possible, reconfigure how relationships between art and spectator is established and sustained. This allows me, in a somewhat larger perspective, to examine the differences and similarities of cultural formations and how we as people seem to continuously apply layer after layer upon our identities in attempt to live up to idealised versions of realities, where we are defined not by who we are but how we appear. If focus is directed towards qualities we inherently possess, I feel something important and genuine can be expressed and this I believe holds true for contemporary culture and, in this particular case, painting,” Kragelund said.
Finally, Kragelund noted that the exhibited works for Reactive Painting are all part of a larger on-going research project, in which he—through this work with process-based paintings and sculptures—seeks to examine and trace the relevance of a Western structural dominance reflected in contemporary art and culture.