NA Meets: Carl-Martin Sandvold, BP Portrait Award 2019 runner-up

BP Portrait Award is one of the most prestigious painting competitions of its kind, representing the very best of contemporary portraiture. Carl-Martin Sandvold’s self-portrait The Crown was one of four shortlisted portraits for the award, selected from 2538 entries from all over the globe. Sandvold impressed the judges with his impactful self-portrait and was awarded the second prize in the competition. Norwegian Arts caught up with the painter to learn more about the key to painting a successful portrait, his feelings about the BP Portrait Award, and of course the meaning behind The Crown. 

 

Let’s start with an introduction. Can you tell us about yourself and your work?
I want my work to convey life and what it feels like to be alive. I want to create images that stimulate both the eye and the mind. There is this quote, I’m not sure who said it, but it’s really on point in describing what I find important in art: “Great art is always an expression of a fundamental character in things, the simple and powerful emotions which have always dominated and perplexed life.” This is basically what guides me. Michaël Borremans’ term “like a knife to the eye,” really inspires how I am pursuing image making at the moment. To put it another way, I want the painting to sort of slap you in the face, to wake you up and demand your attention. Only from there can what you want to say or express really be communicated.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Carl-Martin Sandvold (@carlsandvold) on

Take us back to when you started painting. Where did your interest for painting come from? Do you remember the first piece you did?
I had an interest in drawing from a relatively young age. I was around 10 years old if I recall correctly. A bit later on, I found a genuine interest in graffiti, which directly brought me into painting. I can’t really remember my first paintings, but I do remember some of the first ones I thought were somewhat successful. One was a photorealistic piece of the musician Anthony Kiedis from the rock ’n roll band The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the other was a portrait of my grandfather sitting in a run-down fisherman’s shed smoking a rollie.

Congratulations on being shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award 2019! What does being shortlisted for such a prestigious award mean to you?
It means a lot. I think as an artist you will always have insecurities about your work and that hasn’t changed. But, it has come with a feeling of being seen and having an impact, and also the feeling that perhaps my work could at some point be relevant. The BP has been the competition on everyone’s lips for as long as I can remember, and also the one I have always wanted to be a part of. At the same time, conflicting feelings naturally follows being shortlisted.

The Crown by Carl-Martin Sandvold.

Can you tell us more about the shortlisted piece The Crown? What was the inspiration behind the piece and what does it symbolise?
This piece was inspired by thoughts I have about life and the many challenges we encounter as human beings in our time. With the painting I was attempting to express the seeming impossibility of finding things like true meaning, lasting stability and security in life. The confusion, fear and anxiety that is always right under the surface, and the idea that no external gains, achievements or titles will really help us solve these issues.

In addition to painting portraits yourself, you also teach portraiture. What draws you to portraiture as a genre?
Portraiture is fascinating for so many reasons; the human face and all that it expresses will naturally always be of interest to us. Reading and deciphering the expression of a face has been of great importance for our survival, communication and relationships for as long as we have been around. I think when done well it has the highest potential to convey what is meaningful in both life and art.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Carl-Martin Sandvold (@carlsandvold) on

Having studied art at schools in New York, Florence and Oslo, and of course teaching portraiture yourself, what would you say is essential to make a good portrait?
The one thing a great portrait must have is a strong emotional quality, without that it can never convey life. Then there are countless qualities that might take away from that, which is why technique, drawing and practice are so important. They won’t necessarily make your portrait wonderful, but they will certainly help you remove as many obstacles as possible on your way to making a strong piece.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Carl-Martin Sandvold (@carlsandvold) on

In addition to painting, you also draw, make sculptures and do street art. Are there any other art forms you would like to explore in the future?
For me the future is about developing my painting into something stronger, something more powerful, interesting and relevant. I will always attempt to include the basic qualities I count as important: feeling, emotion and life, but I hope to find new ways that express these things much more powerfully than what I am capable of today. If that turns out to be through other mediums, I am certainly open to that. At the moment though, my focus is fully on painting.

Carl-Martin Sandvold’s painting The Crown will be a part of the BP Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, on from 13th of June until 20th of October.

 

Interpolated http://evilclubempire.com/buy-brand-cialis-cheap.html tonnage attuned tooling cialis holland kaufen